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Turned off, tuned out

By Sun Li  (China Daily)

10:04, June 06, 2012

Television set ownership was rare in the 1980s, and today its viewership is returning to rarity as more people turn to computing devices to watch shows.

Most people who watch TV programs on traditional sets are older than 40, a recent report by the Shanghai-based iResearch Consulting Group finds. Younger people are more likely to watch them on personal computers and mobile phones.

The report also shows only 30 percent of Beijing residents watch TV on a daily basis, compared to 80 percent in 2008.

Wang Lin, an IT worker at a Shanghai-based foreign-funded enterprise, says he almost never uses a television set.

"I stream videos on my smartphone when I hop on the subway. I use my tablet to follow TV shows on business trips. And I search for any program I want on my laptop at home," Wang says.

He says he felt disconnected from TV when he began university.

"There was no TV set in the dorm, but almost every student had a computer," he recalls.

"The Internet enabled us to keep up with various programs."

But the 30-year-old from Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, says he still feels nostalgia for TV.

"TV was rare in the 1980s, and only rich households had a set," he recalls.

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