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China Goes for the Online Gold

Like seemingly everything else in China, online advertising is growing fast

In terms of sheer numbers of users, 2008 marks the year that China overtakes the US as the largest Internet market in the world.

"By 2012 there will be 373 million Internet users in China, 150 million more than in the US at the same time," says Ben Macklin, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Online Advertising in China: The Olympic Year. "Despite this fact, the Chinese Internet market is still relatively immature and only in its first phase of growth.

"This makes China a large—and growing—opportunity for online advertising."

eMarketer forecasts that online advertising spending in China will grow from RMB7 billion ($924 million) in 2007 to RMB29.26 billion ($4.9 billion) in 2012. In projecting yearly growth rates, eMarketer assumed a strong uptick in 2008 due to the Beijing Olympics and annual growth above 30% to 2012.

"The 2008 Beijing Olympics will be a significant driver of advertising spending growth," says Mr. Macklin, "but positive underlying economic and demographic indicators point to continued advertising spending growth well beyond this year."

Read more - eMarketer

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