How rural children in China consume media & advertising

Kara Chan (Hong Kong Baptist University)
James McNeal (McNeal & Kids)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 1 June 2006



This study investigates household access to traditional and new media, media exposure, time spent on media and other activities, and attention to advertising among rural children in mainland China.


A survey of 1,008 rural children ages six to 13 in four Chinese rural provinces was conducted in March 2003. Questionnaires were distributed through elementary schools. The number of students in each school varied from 150 (in Heilongjiang) to 575 (in Yunnan). All the schools were situated in counties with population of less than 131,000. A national research company was appointed to administer the data collection.


Ninety‐eight percent of rural Chinese children have access to television and 71 percent have access to children’s books. Access to other broadcast and print media was under 50 percent. Most of the media consumption was in‐home. Rural children spent most of the time playing with friends, study and watching television. Older children spent more time on media and other activities than younger children. Boys spent more time on electronic games, radio and videotapes than girls. Respondents reported that they sometimes watched television commercials while they seldom attended to advertisements in all other media.


This paper offers insight to design media strategies to disseminate product information to rural children in China.



Chan, K. and McNeal, J. (2006), "How rural children in China consume media & advertising", Young Consumers, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 39-50.

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