Coronavirus leads to surge in business app downloads and 30% more time in mobile

Anne Freier | March 19, 2020

App Business

Time spent using mobile devices jumped 30% in China during February 2020 compared to January to 5 hours a day.

That’s according to new research from App Annie which examined the impact of coronavirus on mobile use across various countries.

Italy noted a jump of 11% in daily time spent in mobile.

As cities went into lockdown, a higher number of Chinese users were downloading and using business and education apps. These apps were downloaded at levels roughly twice the weekly average in 2019.

Among the most popular apps in the business category were Huawei Cloud WeLink, DingTalk and Zoom Cloud Meetings.

A similar picture emerged in Italy, which saw coronavirus infections surge in March 2020.

During the first week in March, 761,000 business app downloads occurred across iOS and Google Play Stores in the country – up 85% over the previous week.

Games are another category noticing rapid growth as users stay indoors to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The average weekly game download in China jumped 80% in February 2020 compared to the average for all of 2019.

Average weekly game downloads in South Korea were up 35% compared to the 2019 average, exceeding 15 million downloads, and up 25% over January 2020.

Among the top 10 games by download were Slap Kings, Woodturning, Draw Climber and Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles.

At the same time, more users are turning to social media and video streaming apps to stay entertained. TikTok saw a surge in average time spent per user.

In 2019, users spent around 68 billion hours using the app. In the first week of March, Chinese users spent 3 billion hours in the app – up 130% from the weekly average in 2019

Consumers also appear to be checking out new streaming apps as they have to spend more time indoors. Both Roku and Pluto.tv moved up the ranking.

However, ride-sharing apps are facing a free fall as fewer users are travelling. China downloads of ride-sharing app Didi fell 75%, for example.

App Annie expects to see an increase in downloads for food and drink apps and it’s likely that although dating apps saw an initially drop in user activity, they will pick back up as more users begin to use Tinder, Bumble and Co to message each other online.

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