Internet use hits all-time high in Taiwan

The number of Internet service users aged 12 and above in Taiwan hit a record high of 15.94 million in 2012.

The Internet is now an integral part of daily life in Taiwan, with over three-quarters of the island’s population spending more time than ever before in cyberspace, according to a survey released July 8 by Taiwan Network Information Center.

The number of Internet users aged 12 and above in Taiwan reached 15.94 million in May, up 3.57 percent year on year, accounting for 77.25 percent of the island’s population. Of these, 74.18 percent use broadband devices as their primary mode of connectivity, the study found.

Around 6.52 million Taiwan households, or 81 percent, have access to the Internet, with Taipei City topping the list at 89.02 percent.

Nearly 80 percent of all households in Taiwan have broadband access, up 12.65 percent from a year ago. Over 97 percent report a monthly income of over NT$100,001 (US$3,390).

The survey also revealed that the usage rate for social networking and online gaming reached 67.62 percent and 47.04 percent, respectively. Those aged 12-19 and 20-24 are identified as the main user groups.

Nearly 60 percent of web surfers shop online, with the 20-44 age group recording the highest buying frequency. Nearly a third of purchases ranged from NT$2,001 to NT$5,000.

But there is a dark side to the rising popularity of the Internet in Taiwan, the study exposed. More than a quarter of respondents believe that surfing the net has affected their interactions with people in day-to-day life and caused them to rethink usage habits.

Close to 40 percent of online gamers cut back on visiting other websites, while half of online shoppers steer clear of frequenting real-world stores.

Conducted by phone between March 1 and May 27, the annual survey interviewed 3,088 individuals aged 12 and above Taiwanwide with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

Meg Chang
Taiwan Today