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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

New Year Special Features '99

  • About 40 Pct. of New Internet Users in Japan Are Women: Nikkei
  • January 13, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Women account for nearly 40 percent of new Internet users in Japan, according to a recent survey by Nikkei Multimedia.
    This sudden rise in the number of women now using the Internet in Japan was revealed in the Seventh Survey of Internet Active Users (8,812 valid replies) conducted by Nikkei Multimedia from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, 1998.

    Of the total respondents, 129 said they had started using the Internet in or after October 1998. Of that number, 38.8 percent were women.

    Women accounted for only 8.2 percent of respondents who began using the Internet in the period up to March 1993. But women accounted for 14.4 percent of new Internet users in April-Sept. 1996 and 24.7 percent of new users in the period Oct. 1997 to March 1998.

    The percentage rose even further during 1998: women accounted for 31.5 percent of new Internet users in April-Sept. 1998 and 38.8 percent of new users from October, clear evidence that the number of female users has risen rapidly in recent months.

    Women currently account for 17.2 percent of the total number of Internet users, an increase of 4.9 percent points since the last survey.

    Differences were observed between male users and the growing number of female users in regard to their reason for using the Internet.

    Although large numbers of both men and women claimed "entertainment" as their chief reason for Internet access, "entertainment" was cited by a whopping 78.3 percent of female users, as opposed to 58.0 percent of male users.

    Among male users, 37.4 percent replied that they use the Internet predominantly for work. Among female users, however, only 19.0 percent said that work was their chief purpose.

    A similar trend was apparent in the types of Web sites that users access most frequently. Home pages that offer a search service were the choice of 36.1 percent of men and 34.0 percent of women, showing little gender difference.

    Women, however, showed a strong inclination toward hobbies and entertainment, with 31.3 percent reporting that they mostly visit home pages specializing in information about their hobbies and interests, as opposed to only 22.7 percent of men who access such sites most frequently.

    In contrast, 13.1 percent of men mostly visit home pages specializing in information related to their work, while only 6.4 percent of women claim to access such sites most frequently.

    Results and analysis of the survey will be published in the February 1999 issue of Nikkei Multimedia (in Japanese only).

    Related stories:
    � Women Most Active Internet Shoppers: Nikkei Multimedia Survey
    � Internet Users Positive on Email Ads: Nikkei Survey
    � Japanese Internet Users Search With Yahoo!, goo, Infoseek

    (Nikkei Multimedia)

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    Updated: Tue Jan 12 17:28:02 1999 PDT