Coronavirus data report- massive drop in the travel industry & surge in gaming

Thomas Graziani New WeChat features

Further data about the impact of the coronavirus on the digital economy was released in a recent report by QuestMobile. Highlights are:

  • 40% drop in traffic for online travel platforms
  • 36% decrease of daily users for short-distance transportation (ride-hailing Apps, mobile map software)
  • Fresh food delivery Apps are booming
  • Strong growth for social media and news
  • 150M new daily active users for short video platforms

Chinese New Year (CNY) 2019: Feb 4, 2019, to Feb 10th, 2019
CNY 2020: Jan 24th, 2020, to Feb 2nd, 2020
Regular 2020 day: Jan 2nd, 2020, to Jan 8th, 2020

Surge in online entertainment & news

As we previously reported, the gaming sector has seen a surge of engagement. The average time spent on mobile gaming from CNY 2019 and 2020 shot from 113 to 159 minutes.

The lead game of Tencent, “Honor of King”, was especially successful. The amount of time spent daily on the game increased by 75% to an impressive 194 minutes per day.

Despite the intense competition from short video platforms, social platforms such as WeChat and QQ also saw an increase in engagement.

Users spent more time on their social timeline to stay updated about the propagation of the virus.

News outlets also saw a rise in engagement, as people want to remain informed of the evolution of the outbreak.

All news platforms saw a peak in traffic. Wangyi News saw an increase of 30% of its spent time.

Short video platforms, of course, saw a surge of engagement, seeing more than 150 million more Daily Active Users than they did during the previous CNY.

Massive drop in traffic in online travel & transportation industry

It is no surprise that the travel sector was profoundly affected, as many customers are unwilling to leave their homes or take planes, and as many countries enforced travel bans on Chinese travelers.

The number of monthly active users on travel platforms decreased by 40% between Chinese New Year (CNY) 2019 and CNY 2020.

Large platforms were particularly affected: Ctrip saw a 39% drop in users, Qunar a reduction of 50.7%, and social platform Mafengwo a decrease of 64.7% YOY.

Short-distance transportation Apps such as maps and ride-hailing also got affected as users remained at home. The sector saw a 36% drop in daily active users year-over-year (YOY).

Didi Chuxing was particularly affected, experiencing an almost 60% decrease in daily active users year-over-year.

Boom in the fresh food delivery sector

As WalktheChat previously reported, fresh food delivery platforms saw a major uptake in orders as Chinese people were forced to stay home.

The number of daily active users nearly doubled to 10.1 million. The daily amount of time spent on these platforms also increased from 9.5 to 12.6 minutes year-over-year.

The leading platform in the free food delivery sector, Hema (from Alibaba), more than doubled its daily active users, reaching 3 million users/day.


Despite the claims that the epidemic outbreak was a blessing for Tech Giants, all companies were not equally affected.

The coronavirus has been detrimental to the transportation and travel industry and has been a boon to gaming and fresh food delivery.

This evolution is, however, not a zero-sum game: users are likely to resume their consumption habits after the outbreak in an increasingly digitized world.

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