On-line bullying among youths is the most rampant in China, according to worldwide research conducted by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing unit during Q4 last year.

The research, which surveyed some 12,500 youths aged 8 to 17 years in 25 countries globally (500 per country), saw 70% of respondents in China reporting they had been subject to varying degrees of cyberbullying, almost doubling the global average of 37%. Definitions of cyberbullying ranged from mean or unfriendly treatment, being made fun of or teased and being called mean names.

7 Asia Pacific countries were covered in the survey – Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore.

Survey results showed levels of on-line bullying varied greatly in the region. Of the Asia Pacific countries surveyed, China, Singapore (58%) and India(53%) registered the region’s highest levels of cyberbullying, with Japan reporting the lowest level at 17%. China and Singapore were the top 2 scoring countries globally, while Japan was the survey’s second-lowest scoring country.

China and Singapore were the region’s only two countries whose respondents reported a higher level of on-line bullying versus off-line, with 88% and 83% of respondents respectively saying they had been bullied both on and off-line.

Respondents from Australia, on the other hand, registered a much higher level (96%) of off-line bullying compared to on-line (36%), alongside Japan (77% vs 17%).

Australia and Malaysia’s scores of 36% and 33% respectively toed the worldwide average, as did the scores of Germany and Norway.

Other countries that scored toward the higher end of the cyberbullying scale include Argentina (52%), Russia (49%) and Turkey (47%), while the US and UK registered 29% and 40% respectively.

The United Arab Emirates scored the lowest, with just 7% of respondents reporting they had experienced on-line bullying during the period surveyed.