Snapshots of Online Market Size of ASEAN Countries

Jun 04, 2021
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a regional organisation established by 10 Southeast Asia and Pacific countries. Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand are the five founding members who started ASEAN in 1967. Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei joined ASEAN later to closely connect regional collaboration to promote social-cultural, economic, and political advancement in the region. Since 1995, the ASEAN members have enjoyed a free trade zone with each other after a successful tariff-cutting effort. Today ASEAN has become a major global hub of manufacturing and trade. It is also one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world, which makes it the new hot spot for multinational enterprises and investors. The data and market insights we collected below offer a snapshot of the online market size of this emerging economic powerhouse.
The ASEAN market is very diverse. Indonesia is a country with a 272 million population, among which 160 million are active social media users, while Laos has 7.2 million people, only half of which are internet users. Singapore is a country with a 5.83 million population. Still, its e-Commerce market value is as high as 5 billion USD, which is more than Malaysia, 4 billion USD with a population of 32 million, and the Philippines, which has 3 billion USD B2C e-Commerce market value with a huge population of 108.8 million. The top five ASEAN countries in terms of B2C eCommerce market value are Indonesia (11 billion USD), Vietnam (6 billion USD), Thailand (5.5 billion USD), Singapore (5 billion USD), and Malaysia (4 billion USD). In all these countries, Facebook and Youtube dominate the market of social platforms with more than 90% of the penetration rate. While in Singapore and Malaysia, Chinese social media giant WeChat is growing rapidly and starting to gain a solid position in these two countries. In Singapore, WeChat’s penetration rate among social media users is 32%. There’re 1.47 million active WeChat users in Singapore, among which over 60% are young people aged between 16-25 years old. WeChat ranked N0.8 in terms of MAU in Singapore. Whereas in Malaysia, probably the most important and biggest overseas market for WeChat, it’s believed that there’re around 20 million WeChat users. That’s almost 2/3 of the total population in Malaysia. The penetration rate among social media users is as high as 76%. 80% of the users are young people between 16-34 years old. Many global brands, including luxury/cosmetic brands like Lancôme, L’Oréal, have already set up their official WeChat accounts in Singapore and Malaysia to target the local Chinese consumer segment by launching customised promotions, events, and media campaigns.
Another set of data worth noting is the total value of digital payment in these ASEAN countries. Digital payment has become a major payment option in most ASEAN countries. In the five founding members of ASEAN, the annual digital payment transaction value is more than double of the total B2C e-Commerce. For example, Indonesia’s total digital payment value in 2019 was 32.44 billion USD, almost three times the e-Commerce market value. Thailand’s digital payment value reached 13.21 billion USD in 2019, Singapore reached 12.31 billion, followed by the Philippines (7.35 billion) and Malaysia (10.53 billion). No wonder both AliPay and WeChat Pay, the top 2 Chinese tech giants in the digital payment field, target ASEAN markets as their key markets in global expansion. *The data we used in this article are from the Digital 2020 Reports by WeAreSocial and online data from Statista.
Benjamin Sun
Benjamin Sun