Google predicts Southeast Asian Internet economy to hit $240 Bn by 2025
In 2015, the Internet economy in Southeast Asia was worth $32 Bn and has now doubled its value at $72 Bn, reported Google and Temasek in the research, e-Conomy SEA, 2018. The study further predicted a giant leap by 2025 by when the valuation of the SEA Internet economy should reach $240 Bn, making Southeast Asia the fastest growing Internet economy after the regions of China and America.
The e-Conomy SEA 2018 report analysed the Internet economy across the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines and looked at analyzing four areas: ride-hailing, online media (advertising, gaming, subscription music as well as on-demand video), online travel, and e-commerce. The data used for the study was sourced from Google Search, Temasek research as well as third-party sources.The report showed Indonesia to have the largest and fastest growing Internet economy out of the countries studied with 150 Mn users and a valuation of $27 Bn with Thailand at $12 Bn and Singapore at $10 Bn.
The large and ever-growing number of Internet users on mobiles may be a key contributory factor to this speeded growth. The region witnessed a huge leap from 90 Mn Internet users in 2015 to 350 Mn users in 2018. This leap coincides with the shift to using mobile Internet. Moreover, countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are among the top 10 countries in the world with regard to mobile engagement. The report rightly stated that mobile phones are the Internet gateways for “vast segments of the population” who do not have computer access and thus are a key piece of the Internet economy puzzle. With the cost of one gigabyte of mobile Internet being “more than halved relative to the income of Southeast Asians over the last four years”, there are more users today than there ever was.
The report also pointed out that the “Internet economy companies employ highly-skilled professionals in functions like software engineering, digital marketing, data science, and product marketing that often command salaries three to five times higher than median wages in Southeast Asian countries,”
The Internet economy, in 2018, created more than 100,000 skilled jobs along with 500,000 “full-time equivalent” with the emergence and increase in food delivery and ride-hailing services. With the jobs created for skilled professionals to double to 200,000 by 2025, would the SEA market be able to cope with the growth spurt?