Gojek drivers waiting for passengers in Indonesia.
afif c. kusuma | iStock Editorial | Getty Images
More than 75% of the population in six major Southeast Asian countries have access to the internet and a majority of them have shopped online at least once, according to a new report from Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Company.
As many as 40 million people across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand came online for the first time this year, according to the report which was released on Wednesday.
That pushed the number of internet users in those six countries to over 440 million people, of which 80% made an online purchase at least once, the report said.
The report did not address the populations of all Southeast Asian countries, leaving out ASEAN members Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, as well as East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
The coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in digital services such as e-commerce, food and grocery delivery and online payment. More than 60 million people in the region used digital services for the first time due to Covid-19 — and 20 million of them did so in the first half of 2021, according to the report, which is in its sixth year.
Most internet sectors in Southeast Asia have been resilient to the ill-effects of the pandemic, including months of stringent lockdown measures, which affected businesses and employment worldwide.
As the number of people vaccinated against Covid…