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Despite the popularity of smartphones, the elderly are still blocked by the digital divide

According to Alibaba's latest research report, the elderly still have obstacles when shopping online.

October 25, 2020, is China’s Double-ninth Day, according to Chinese traditional culture, people should show respect for the elderly on this day. On this day, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba released a “Digital Life report for the elderly” to describe the situation of China’s elderly in the use of the Internet.

Original report

According to the report, the growth rate of Internet users over the age of 60 during the pandemic at the beginning of this year exceeded 29.7% in the same period last year. This may be due to the strict quarantine policy in many Chinese cities during that time, and people had to show their “health codes” on their mobile phones to enter public places.

Although the number of elderly users on the Internet in China has increased due to the popularity of smartphones, their digital literacy is still at a low level. Online shopping is a relatively difficult behavior for the elderly, and 50% of the elderly choose to give up after they encounter problems with online shopping.

According to the details, the most common problems encountered by the elderly in online shopping are “refund” (42%), “commodity details” (17%), and “logistics problems” (16%). Of these elderly people who encounter problems, only 30% will seek help from their relatives and friends, and 20% of those who are more proficient in using the Internet will choose to seek help from merchants first.

But to some extent, this may encourage online fraud. In the chapter on how to improve the digital literacy of the elderly, 72% of the young and 73% of the elderly want the elderly to be trained in the use of the Internet. But what is worth pondering is that young people (children) prefer the elderly to be trained in preventing online fraud (67%), while the elderly themselves prefer training in online shopping (71%) and online payment (63%).

There seems to be a conflict between these two wishes.

However, the Chinese elderly seem to be very proficient in using online travel agents, because on Alibaba’s online travel agent platform “Flying Pig”, the total consumption of people over 60 is three times that of Gen-Z users.

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