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Around half (52%) of Chinese consumers aged 18 to 24 who watch pirated content indicated that mobile devices are their most frequent method of consuming this content – the highest globally – reflecting a prominent shift in viewer consumptions habits


CCBN, CHINA – 23 March 2017 – A new online consumer survey from Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform security, found that 84% of Chinese consumers polled are aware that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal. In contrast, only 58% think that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal, revealing a lack of understanding that in fact both forms of piracy are illegal.

This calls for greater efforts in educating Chinese consumers that all forms of piracy are illegal. Education is expected to have a positive impact. Over half (57%) of Chinese consumers who watch pirated content stated they are willing to pirate less, or even stop watching, when told that piracy could hinder studio investment and cause a drop in the quality of content. Interestingly, Chinese consumers aged 35 to 44 are most likely to pirate (73%) – more than the younger demographic aged 18 to 24 (68%) – and are also the most willing (65%) to pirate less or stop watching.

With regards to the devices used most frequently to consume pirated video content, Irdeto’s survey found that 41% of Chinese consumers who watch pirated content use their laptops or computers to access this content while 43% use their mobile devices (smartphones or tablets). The latter is more pronounced among the younger demographic aged 18 to 24 and reflects a shift in viewer consumption habits, where 52% indicated that mobile devices are their most frequent method of consuming pirated content.

“The findings of the survey show that piracy will continue to be a major business challenge for operators in the near future. There is also a need for broader consumer education so that they will understand the negative implications that piracy can cause to the industry,” said Marco Xie, General Manager, China, Irdeto. “Content providers should proactively identify where piracy leaks are happening and what content is being pirated, so that operators can not only mitigate revenue loss, but also increase revenue potential by capitalizing on latent demand.”

A majority of the consumers (37%) who watch pirated content in China are most interested in watching movies that are currently shown in theatres, followed by TV series (18%) and Blu-ray edition of movies (12%). This reflects the consumption patterns of Chinese consumers who have a strong preference for Hollywood blockbusters that hit the Chinese box office.

However, competition from online video sites are expected to compete for market share and grow in popularity, especially among local video content service providers like Tencent, Youku Tudou and others that are investing in more local original content. These emerging players will not be spared from piracy unless they play their part in investing in content protection and educating consumers on the negative impact that piracy has on the industry, which ultimately affects the quality of a consumer’s viewing experience.

“Consumer education in China plays an important role in any anti-piracy strategy, especially given the lack of knowledge regarding what is legal and illegal, and is most effective when there is a high level of willingness among consumers to change their behavior,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Services, Irdeto. “If industry players can elicit this change in consumer habits, alongside a compelling legal video service and a 360-degree approach to a robust security and anti-piracy program, they will be able to prevent pirates from stealing market share.”

Irdeto also conducted a Global Consumer Piracy Survey which you may view at this link:


The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted online from February 7th–13th, 2017 by YouGov. Total sample size was 1,044 Chinese adults (aged 18+). The figures have been weighted and are representative of the online population of adults in China (aged 18+).

About Irdeto

Irdeto. Building a Secure Future.™

Irdeto is the world leader in digital platform security, protecting platforms and applications across multiple industries, such as media & entertainment, payments and automotive. Our solutions and services enable customers to protect their revenue, create new offerings and fight cybercrime. With nearly 50 years of expertise in security, Irdeto’s software security technology and cyber services protect over 5 billion devices and applications for some of the world’s best known brands. Our unique heritage as a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers (JSE: NPN) means that we are a well-established and reliable partner to help build a more secure future. Please visit Irdeto at

For further information about Irdeto please contact:

Crystal Kung
Account Manager, WE Communications
P: +65 303 8472

Irdeto Media Team