Adam Eisenstat

Research Report: China Online (Digital media/Internet marketing trends)

eMarketer (research co.) - February 06, 2016

“China Online” is one of more than a dozen country-focused reports on digital media/Internet marketing that I wrote for eMarketer. It includes overviews/analysis on Internet connectivity, Web developments, etc. (Click to see > Full report.)

Executive Summary:

China today is synonymous with tremendous growth and enormous scale. The Internet is certainly part of this explosion and some might say a primary driver of the country’s entrée into the very top ranks of industrialized, media-rich societies.

In 2007 China had the world’s second-largest and fastestgrowing Internet user population. eMarketer projects that in 2008 China will have 216 million Internet users, surpassing the US online population of 193.9 million to become first in the world.

China’s total population of 1.3 billion makes its numbers significant in any Internet category, even when penetration is low. For instance, although China will have 216 million Internet users, that represents less than 20% of the population.

But growth is ahead. Figures for Internet users and penetration have increased by more than 100% over the past three years. Broadband penetration is expected to double by 2012. Spending on e-commerce is expected to increase by about 50% per year through 2011.

China currently has the largest number of mobile phone users of any country in the world by far; there will be 595 million subscribers in 2008, increasing to 800 million in 2012.

Online advertising spending in China, which was just under $1 billion in 2007, is expected to increase 52% in 2008 to $1.4 billion. From 2009 to 2012 spending is expected to increase an average of 37% per year and reach $5 billion in 2012.

The Internet is a young person’s medium in China and generates an urgency generally unseen in the West.This stems from the fact that the country is decidedly undemocratic and the Web, despite the best efforts of government censors, represents a conduit to forbidden information.

The government understands that the Internet is an essential vehicle for continued economic growth, but they also fear its subversive potential–the inherent challenge it poses to media control, and by extension to overall government control.