GSMA Announces the Proliferation of Connected Devices in China Will Be Worth More than US$700 Billion in 2020

GSMA Announces the Proliferation of Connected Devices in China Will Be Worth More than US$700 Billion in 2020

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Connectivity Will Drive Significant Growth, Cost Reductions and Efficiencies Across the Automotive, Building and Energy Industries

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research, today announced that the business impact[1] from the growth of connected devices in China will increase six fold from US$116 billion in 2012 to US$707 billion in 2020, fostering the Connected Life. Connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics and so-called machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, are driving innovation and advancement in key industries across Asia Pacific. China’s growth in this segment leads all other countries worldwide as its economy continues to develop rapidly, backed by a vibrant and growing technology industry.

China is not only the world’s largest mobile market, with more than one billion total mobile connections, but is using this to its advantage by creating new applications, products and services that can improve people’s daily lives and advance its economy,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA.

“China has positioned mobile technology at the centre of its expansion, from a booming car industry to the rapid development of new ‘smart’ cities, creating efficiencies and consumer benefits through cross-industry collaboration.”

Connected vehicles will facilitate a range of new business models in China. For example, the ability to locate and access vehicles and implement real-time charging will spur the growth of car share schemes and hire/purchase arrangements. Separately, built-in connectivity is predicted to become a must-have for consumers in 2020, driven in part by the increasing global demand for plug-in electric vehicles. Machina Research estimates that together these two areas alone represent a US$198 billion business impact for China’s automotive ecosystem in 2020.

The growing adoption of connected private building security – notably alarms, CCTV and intercoms – is also fuelling a huge market opportunity across the region. In China, the value of connected security systems, based on the cost of providing equivalent levels of cover without connectivity, will be worth US$62 billion in 2020.

The third major Chinese industry predicted to benefit greatly from the Connected Life is utilities and essential services, which will be worth US$37 billion in 2020. This market is fuelled by the need to reduce energy usage by both consumers and businesses, an area in which smart metering will play a vital role.

Matt Hatton, Director, Machina Research said: “There is little doubt that the biggest impact in the region will be felt in China. As its economy continues to grow, China is increasingly turning to technological solutions to address some of the challenges caused by this growth, whether it is the use of smart meters to manage electricity demand, or road monitoring solutions to manage congestion caused by growing car ownership. The Chinese government has demonstrated its willingness to introduce innovative M2M technologies and embrace the Connected Life for the benefit of its citizens.”

The Business Impact of the Connected Life Across Asia Pacific

The region’s second leading Connected Life market, Japan will unlock a business impact from connected devices of US$344 billion in 2020. While automotive and building security are two of the largest ‘connected’ industries in Japan, the leading segment in 2020 will be assisted living. This reflects Japan’s huge requirement to find new solutions to care for its aging population. As a result, enabling better care for older people at home, including managing medications and people-tracking devices, will provide a US$63 billion business impact for Japan in 2020.

Meanwhile, India will see a business impact from connected devices of US$128 billion in 2020, equating to 18 per cent of China’s Connected Life opportunity. India’s two largest connected industries, connected vehicles and intelligent buildings, are consistent with China, but development factors such as the comparative costs of M2M connectivity versus wages in India mean that manual labour will continue to be used in place of technology-led solutions up to 2020.

Health applications also dominate in many countries across the region including Australia, India and Pakistan, where mHealth services will be ranked in the top three Connected Life applications in 2020. This is spurred by the need to expand health services to the mass market of consumers, across a widespread, fragmented and predominately rural population base. However, in highly developed countries, such as Singapore, mobile technology is being adopted to address issues created by a growing, dense urban population, with smart cities and transportation creating a business impact worth nearly US$1 billion in 2020.

[1] The US$707 billion business impact of the Connected Life in China in 2020 is forecast to be worth US$393 billion in revenues (e.g. from the sale of connected devices and services, and revenues from related services, such as pay-as-you-drive car insurance), and US$314 billion in ‘cost reduction and service improvements’ (e.g. smart meters removing the need for manual meter readings; and service improvements, such as clinical remote monitoring for patients with chronic illnesses).

The countries in Asia Pacific to realise the greatest business impacts of the Connected Life are:

Country Overall Business Impact in 2012 (in US dollars) Overall Business Impact in 2016 (in US dollars) Overall Business Impact in 2020 (in US dollars)
1. China 116 billion 365 billion 707 billion
2. Japan 96 billion 212 billion 344 billion
3. India 23 billion 66 billion 128 billion
4. South Korea 39 billion 72 billion 98 billion
Total Asia Pacific 347 billion 896 billion 1.6 trillion
North America 277 billion 703 billion 1.2 trillion
Europe 286 billion 637 billion 1.1 trillion
Latin America 62 billion 148 billion 272 billion
Africa 19 billion 55 billion 114 billion
Middle East 19 billion 53 billion 109 billion

The top industries to benefit from the Connected Life in these four countries are:

Country Industry Business Impact by 2012 (in US dollars) Business Impact by 2016 (in US dollars) Business Impact by 2020 (in US dollars)
China 1. Connected Car 12 billion 62 billion 149 billion
2. Private Building Security 10 billion 29 billion 62 billion
3. Auto Lease/Rental Vehicles 2 billion 10 billion 49 billion
4. Smart Metering 2 billion 16 billion 37 billion
Japan 1. Assisted Living 2 billion 22 billion 63 billion
2. Connected Car 7 billion 24 billion 36 billion
3. Private Building Security 8 billion 16 billion 21 billion
India 1. Connected Car 1 billion 6 billion 18 billion
2. Private Building Security 3 billion 7 billion 14 billion
3. Telemedicine 1 billion 5 billion 13 billion
South Korea 1. Connected Car 2 billion 7 billion 11 billion
2. Private Building Security 6 billion 9 billion 10 billion
3. Auto Insurance 100 million 2 billion 5 billion
Total Asia Pacific 1. Connected Car 29 billion 127 billion 273 billion
2. Private Building Security 32 billion 72 billion 127 billion
3. Auto Lease/Rental Vehicles 3 billion 20 billion 91 billion

All data provided by Machina Research (

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at

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