Post-Pandemic Chinese Seniors Are Becoming Tech-Savvy

 September 27, 2021
A photo of volunteer teaching senior students basic smart phone functions inside a public service center in the city of Xianyang, Shaanxi Province on June 15, 2021. [Xinhua]


More Chinese seniors are exploring the use of the payment service of WeChat, China's leading messaging and social media app, according to a study released on Saturday.

The study, conducted by the National Institute of Social Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, aimed to learn about the digital life of the elderly population in the post-pandemic period.

Over 90 percent of the seniors surveyed watch videos online, over 80 percent read novels and articles online, and at least 23.26 percent play mobile games with almost no objections from their children.

The study showed a growing number of seniors are using WeChat Pay and their sum total payment via the service increased by 5,227 percent between Q1 in 2017 and Q2 in 2021.

Due to increased tech-savviness, 81.48 percent of elderly users believed they are capable of discerning online information; at the same time, only 62.34 percent of elderly users verify the information using tools like websites and mobile apps.

The report found in the post-pandemic period, seniors live rather differently depending on their adaptability to new technologies. Some tech-savvy seniors manage to master skills, including scanning QR codes, mobile navigation and online ride-hailing, while some have to refrain from going outdoors due to digital incompetence.

Still, 95.09 percent of elderly users believe in the importance of learning how to use the internet in a post pandemic setting, and 93.36 percent are confident in learning how to get online using smart phones.

The report also said the digital divide for the elderly attracted the attention of the general public after the COVID-19 outbreak and the authorities have taken action to bridge the divide.

In November 2020, the General Office of the State Council issued a plan to solve the difficulties of seniors in utilizing smart technologies. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology later issued a one-year action plan on removing obstacles and transforming internet applications to become more senior-friendly.




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