GMO Japan Market Intelligence surveyed 4,000 smartphone owners over the age of 19 in four major East Asian countries on their use of QR Codes . The survey of 1,000 users in each country; Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan was conducted in the first two weeks of February 2012.
Awareness was high with an average of 94.1% knowing about QR Codes; Japan (96.6%), South Korea (95.3%), Taiwan (92.5%) and China (92.1%).
Of those that knew about QR Codes most had seen them on websites (62.8% average) and least on outdoor advertising (28.2% average) with some regional variation (see chart below). I imagine the website observations are almost all for downloading apps.
Why they had scanned QR Codes was interesting, confirming the usual top two reasons, for a coupon/promotion and to have more information on a product. Surprising to me was that an average of 17.9% had used a QR Code to purchase an item but with China way ahead at 37.2% (see chart below).