Aiming to conquer our living rooms, a new generation of Chinese companies have swarmed into the smart TV industry to entice customers through larger screens and internet-based entertainment services. The entry of both traditional home appliance makers and internet companies has led to an explosion in the smart TV and set-top box markets in China. LeTV, an online video service and smart TV manufacturer, recently released a report on China’s smart TV market based on data from LeTV App store, third-party research institutions and customer surveys.


2012-2014 Smart TV and Set-top-box Shipment

According to the report, over 100 million smart TVs and set-top-boxes have been shipped as of the end of 2014. Annual sales of smart TVs exceeded 30 million sets in 2014, with a market penetration rate of nearly 70% expected to reach 85% during 2015. More than 70% of smart TVs shipped are powered by Android.

In terms of regional differences, more developed provinces and cities, with better economiis and higher internet penetration, naturally have higher smart TV penetration rates. Guangdong, Beijing and Jiangsu have the highest smart TV shipment rates.

People born in 1970s and 1980s are the most active smart TV users, accounting for around 70% of total app downloads. Consumers from these age group have started their own families, and therefore have a big appetite for education and lifestyle apps.

Smart TV customers have a highly unbalanced gender ratio, with 89% male and 11% female.

Smart TVs are pulling customers who once abandoned traditional TVs back to their living rooms with bigger screen and rich content. A total of 2,000 smart TV apps hit the shelves in 2014, according to the report.


Game apps comprise 48% of smart TV app downloads in Q4 2014, up from 25% in Q1. TV sets are ultimately superior for video games and that’s why gaming apps is the hottest category for smart TV apps.

Casual games account for more than half of total gaming apps for now. But the platform is expected to see more mid- and hard-core games as the market expands and attract more game developers.


Among the top 100 non-gaming apps, video apps account for 16% of the total available, but their downloads comprise 38.6% of the total, indicating that video is still one of most popular content for smart TV.

Only one sixth of smart TV apps had an order conversion rate higher than 30%, still a relatively low level. The report pointed out that the low order conversion rate may caused by the lack of dedicated payment methods on the platform.

You can find the full Chinese version of the slide deck here.

image credit: LeTV

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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