A Tale of Two Countries: Mobile Communications, the Internet and the Digital Economy in China and India
30 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 25, 2019
This paper focuses on the impact of the widespread penetration and use of intelligent mobile devices, particularly smartphones, married to broadband mobile networks, in China and India. China and India are the largest and second largest mobile markets in the world, with some 1.3 billion and 1.2 billion mobile subscriptions respectively. These two countries have leapfrogged directly into ubiquitous mobile communications networks, although an urban-rural gap remains in the deployment and use of broadband mobile networks.
As mobile Internet use, combined with electronic transactions and payments, becomes the new norm, policymakers will need to formulate new policies to address challenges related to the large-scale migration of mobile users to broadband networks and the use of Internet-based transactional services. The authors discuss and compare strategies being used in China and India, and how these are affected by their different economic and digital ecosystems. We analyze what has worked, what did not, the problems encountered and whether there are lessons to be learned that are of general applicability, as well as for these two particular countries.
Keywords: Mobile communications, Internet, smartphones, 5G, China, India
JEL Classification: O
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation