Amid rapid population ageing and the high-speed progress of information and communications technology, use of smart electronics can improve older people's quality of life by helping them to stay connected, active and independent, which may, in turn, increase their overall happiness and sense of social belonging. Taking a gender perspective, this paper aims to understand variations in digital exclusion among older people. Using data from the 2016 China Longitudinal Ageing Social Survey, it finds that digital exclusion seems to vary by gender, with rural female older people being most excluded, possibly because they have the lowest capital endowment. The gender difference in the digital divide is even more salient with all other things being equal. Digital exclusion in the information era may further exacerbate gender inequality, particularly for those who are already most vulnerable. Since digital inclusion is somewhat inherent in the concept of intelligent old-age support, it should be considered an urgent necessity to help older people, especially rural women, become familiar with smart electronic products.