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According to a recent report by Tencent on the online behavior of older internet users, seniors are fond of downloading apps to help them with their finances, shopping and organizing dance events. But they also keep up with the times and have a preference for popular apps that would otherwise not be associated with seniors.

Whether it's karaoke, photo editing or video apps - Chinese seniors are much more active on the mobile Internet and downloading popular apps than you might think.

While many young people assume that older people can only use "senior cell phones" and have nothing to do with apps, the reality is different. A general prejudice seems to be true: if technical problems really arise with modern devices, then these are much more difficult for senior citizens to solve than for younger people, for example. In such a case, around 40 percent of senior citizens only use the basic functions of their device for a longer period of time.

Currently, the number of older internet users in the country has reached 80.28 million, which makes up 20 percent of the older population and means that every fifth senior in this country uses a mobile phone to access the internet. According to the Tencent report, the number of internet users using their cell phones has increased by 79 percent since 2012. Among older Internet users, this number grew by as much as 130 percent - around 1.6 times as fast. China's seniors are, in fact, absolute Internet fans!

The report also shows that the so-called first-rate cities - Beijing, Shanghai & Co. - are not the main centers of older Chinese internet users. Only about 13 percent of them come from the expensive, modern Chinese megacities. The rest is spread across cities in the second (38%), third and fourth (37%) categories.

New things like bike rental, mobile payments, food delivery, online shopping, and live broadcasting are deeply embedded in the lives of many Chinese people. Young people love the mobile internet and such apps, but older people are not inferior to them on this point.

“The average number of mobile app downloads per user is 33, while 85.5 percent of older users download more than 20 apps. About 50 percent of seniors have more than 30 apps on their smartphones, ”the report says.

In the eyes of the children, their parents probably only use cell phones to surf the Internet, read the news, socialize and watch videos. In reality, older users are also very interested in popular apps. The three most popular apps of the moment - K-Song (karaoke app), beauty camera and vibrato (video app) - are not only very popular with young people, older users also like them.

It's also worth noting that older Chinese users are most concerned with how to make or save money on the mobile internet.

The report suggests that among the top 100 apps downloaded by seniors, apps related to finance and securities accounted for the largest proportion (42%). Shopping apps - especially those that reward every purchase with discounts, bonuses and points - accounted for 15 percent of app downloads. At the same time, an analysis of the search queries on the largest Chinese search engine Baidu revealed that Chinese seniors attach particular importance to the security of financial apps: Before downloading them on Baidu, they research whether the apps are safe or whether they are linked to fraud or pyramid schemes stand.

Cell phones can be very helpful for seniors and give them a rich, mobile life - but there are also obstacles to their use. The report shows that almost all of the elderly have cell phones worth more than a thousand yuan. However, these high-end cell phones are more difficult to use than certain, simpler devices designed for seniors. Older users often face three major obstacles when using smartphones: The biggest problem is the use of apps and the operation of the device's functions (46.7%), the second largest is the complex system settings and maintenance via updates (41, 2%) and the third big problem for many is downloading the apps (32.7%).

Because of the obstacles in the condition, many elderly people only use half of the APPs in basic mode, so their demand for mobile life aids cannot be fully met. Half of the TOP20 apps for older users are simple system tools.

According to a recent survey, 92 percent of older people think of asking their children for help first when they encounter problems using their cell phones. The next thing they think about is whether they can turn to relatives, friends or colleagues. The elderly children, in turn, often have two embarrassing situations when they react to their parents' cell phone problems: 57.9 percent state that their parents easily forget how to use the cell phone again. Another 39.6 percent of children believe that they live too far from home and that they can only solve problems if they help their parents on the spot.

According to the report, more and more elderly people in China are using the mobile internet. Due to the separation from their children, who often work in large cities far away, the elderly can often only solve problems with access to the Internet after a long waiting period.