See More on Facebook

Curiosity, News

South Korea tops internet usage in Asia

Among the countries surveyed, South Korea stands out as the most heavily connected society, with 96 per cent of adults reporting internet use.


Written by

Updated: June 22, 2018

Fact-tank PEW’s newest research says while the gap in internet usage between emerging and advanced economies is narrowing, there are still large swaths of the world where significant numbers of citizens do not use the internet.

This Asian country is in the same league as the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, the US, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain – where roughly nine-in-ten report internet use.

Among other Asian countries studied for internet penetration and usage across various categories such as age and gender China’s done fairly well at 71 per cent. Japan’s usage is at 76 per cent, Vietnam 64, Philippines 56, Indonesia 30 and India 25.

The study makes a special note of poor internet penetration in India.

Internet use continues to lag in many developing economies. Only one-in-four Indians, for instance, report using the internet or owning a smartphone. Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the least wired parts of the globe,” reads the Pew report. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact-tank that informs about issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

The global digital divide is largely an economic story. Richer countries, as measured by gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity), tend to have higher rates of internet use, while poorer countries tend to have lower rates. This pattern has been consistent across prior surveys and remains today for both internet use and smartphone ownership, the report adds.

Internet penetration rates – as measured by internet use or smartphone ownership – remain high in North America and much of Europe, as well as in parts of the Asia-Pacific.

South Korea tops in the Asian countries studied in the smart phone ownership category too. 94 per cent South Koreans own a smart phone and a high percentage of them are wired. China stands at 68 per cent, Japan 59, Vietnam 53, Philippines 44, Indonesia 27 and India 22.

Despite the increasing levels of smartphone use, ownership still lags in India, Indonesia and Africa,” Pew report points out.

In yet another important category which was covered by the Pew survey – social media use – 69 per cent South Koreans are active on social media. China is close behind at 60, Vietnam at 53, Philippines at 49, Japan at 39, Indonesia at 26 and India lagging at 20.

Social media use is widespread among internet users in the Philippines and Indonesia – even though internet penetration is far lower than other Asian nations.

In contrast, in some countries with high rates of internet use, relatively fewer adults report using social media. In Germany, for instance, where 87 per cent of people use the internet, less than half say they use social media.

India’s active batting for “Digital India” seems to not have taken off so far and more needs to be done to get the country on the world digital map.

Smartphone ownership among adults in India went up from 12 per cent in 2013 to 22 per cent in 2017, while social media use went up from eight to 20 per cent during the same period. However, clearly this isn’t enough.

South Korea shines as the most heavily connected country in Asia and the world, in the 37 countries surveyed by PEW.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Curiosity, News

Woman accused of blasphemy freed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi was initially found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death. After her release from Multan’s women prison in the light of the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict overturning her conviction and death sentence, Asia Bibi was brought to Islamabad on board a special aircraft on Wednesday night, reliable sources told Dawn Newspaper. The aircraft carrying Aasia Bibi, whose acquittal of blasphemy charge sparked countrywide protests by religious parties and groups, landed at the old Benazir Bhutto International Airport of Islamabad adjacent to Nur Khan Air Base. Soon after her landing, she was taken to an undisclosed place in Islamabad amid tight security. The authorities were keeping her movement and whereabouts secret for security reasons. Authorities concerned were also tight-lipped about her future plan and it was unclear if she would be kept in Islamabad or would be allowed to fly out of the


By Dawn
November 8, 2018

Curiosity, News

When Hollywood came calling to Bangladesh

An enchanting tale of opportunity and the silver screen in Bangladesh. This fascinating story needs retelling, particularly for the younger generations in Bangladesh, who would take pride in knowing that a fairly sizable portion of one of the most successful, Academy Award (Oscar) winning, block-buster epic movies of Hollywood of the 1950s, “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956), was filmed at selected locations of Sreemangal, in Sylhet and Barabkunda, in Chittagong. And that, in those immensely difficult days of road communication and a host of other logistical problems, an indefatigable gentleman from Dhaka, G M M E Karim, rose to the occasion and volunteered his fulltime services to render shooting of the film possible on schedule. A hugely resourceful and multifaceted personality, Karim, besides being an accomplished professional, was also a big game hunter in his younger days—he had shot his first full grown


By Daily Star
November 7, 2018

Curiosity, News

Imran Khan delivers warning to religious groups

Pakistan premier Imran Khan warns off religious group after supreme court rules on high profile blasphemy case. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday issued a stark warning to religiopolitical groups that have been agitating against the Supreme Court verdict to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on charges of committing blasphemy. The premier addressed the matter in a short video message that solely focused on the Asia Bibi verdict and its aftermath. The message was broadcast on state-run PTV. He said he had been “compelled” to communicate with the nation due to the reaction given and language used by a “small segment” in response to the SC verdict. Pakistan was founded “in the name of Islam” and the verdict given by the SC is


By Dawn
November 1, 2018

Curiosity, News

Air crash investigation could take up to six months

Preliminary report to be out in about a month, as search for black boxes continues. Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said its probe into the crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 may take up to six months, as the search for the black box flight recorders continued into its third day yesterday. A preliminary report of the investigations, however, will be released in about a month, said KNKT chief Soerjanto Tjahjono. A complete study may take up to six months, he added. Dr Soerjanto’s comments yesterday came amid widespread anticipation that divers might have recovered a black box from the ill-fated flight, after news broke that a part of the fuselage was found in the search area earlier in the day. Indonesian Armed Forces chief Hadi Tjahjanto had said a large object, suspected to be a key part of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet that crashed


By The Straits Times
November 1, 2018

Curiosity, News

22 overseas workers rescued from Denmark, Philippine government says

Twenty-two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been rescued from dire living conditions by authorities in Denmark, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The DFA said the rescued OFWs were truck drivers who had been living and working in “deplorable conditions” in the southern part of the Scandinavian country. DFA officials expressed gratitude to Copenhagen for helping the afflicted Filipinos. The 22 truck drivers were rescued after Danish police raided their camp in the town of Padborg early Tuesday morning, the DFA said in a statement late Tuesday night. The Philippine Embassy in Norway had been closely coordinating with the Danish government for the past weeks in regard to the situation of the Filipinos. “Ambassador Batoon-Garcia flew to Denmark with a team to determine the status of the d


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 31, 2018

Curiosity, News

Indonesia orders checks on all Boeing 737 Max planes after Lion Air crash

Search and rescue crews are still searching the area using sonar to recover debris and material. Indonesian transport minister Budi Karya has ordered local airlines Lion Air and Garuda to inspect their Boeing 737 Max airplanes as the authorities continue to investigate and search for survivors of Monday’s Lion Air crash in which 189 people are feared dead. “We sent a letter to Lion Air and Garuda yes


By The Straits Times
October 31, 2018