Every quarter, QuestMobile, a research firm focused on mobile internet, issues a new report on the developments of the sector.

In the latest instalment, released this month, QuestMobile revealed something unprecedented: China’s active mobile internet user number has peaked and started to decline.

According to the following graph, the number of monthly active mobile internet users peaked at 1.138 billion in February and March. It has since declined to 1.136 billion by June.

Monthly active users

While the numbers could recover – it is an acute reminder to the players that the days where you could ride the wave of natural user growth are long gone.

This means competition in China will further intensify, and more businesses will spill over to other countries.

The daily average screen time has grown to 358.2 minutes, probably not too far from the saturation point as well:

Average time spent

One important graph that people always look forward to is the % of screen time occupied by major giants:

In the graph above, Yellow represents Tencent and its affiliates; grey ByteDance and its affiliates; blue Alibaba and its affiliates; red Baidu and its affiliates; while the light green represents the rest.

As we can see, Tencent and Baidu are both experiencing some decline in screen time share. However, Tencent is still firmly at the top, with an average user spending more than 40% of their time on Tencent apps.

A large reason for this would be WeChat, which Tencent has yet to monetise in a big way.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].