Recent numbers from the well-respected BDA Research group show that China has just leapfrogged over the U.S. and now has more Internet users than any other country in the world.
Chuppies surfing the Internet
China had 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007. And that figure is expected to hit an astonishing 280 million users by the end of this year because they’re adding around 200,000 new users each and every day.
There are 228 million Chinese Internet surfers right now. That translates into only a 16% penetration rate, well below the global average of 19.1% and the U.S.’s whopping 69.7%.
Further more, Chinese youth don’t watch much TV. The reason is that Chinese television is controlled by the Communist Party and its programming is more boring than watching paint dry. That probably explains why the average Chinese youth spends more time (20 hours per week) on the Internet than the typical American youth (12 hours a week). And that’s why advertisers who want to reach the free-spending Chuppies (Chinese yuppies) are using the Internet and cell phones to reach their target audience.
That, of course, has some very important implications for investors. Any businesses that are successfully tapping into this booming audience are going to make a mountain of money and enrich their shareholders
In an excellent article by Tony Sagami he is putting together the A-list of 10 “wired” Chinese companies’ shares trade in the U.S. on the New York and Nasdaq stock exchanges.
Bottom Line: Mr. Sagami is absolutely convinced about one thing. There is some huge money to be made by investing in the country with the biggest pool of dedicated Internet junkies in the world: China!
It seems that it is going to be a warm summer this year in the SNS market in China.
Last month Koolanoo group CEO, O.D Kobo, while interviewed on CNBC.COM, reveal that Koolanoo is going to be listed in Hong Kong’s stock exchange during this summer.
360Quan.com is Officially China’s 2nd Largest Social Network, and the fastest growing website in the history of online China. In addition, it is ranked the Largest Friend Finder Website, 8th Largest Community-based Website, and nominated in the overall Top 5 most popular online destinations of China. Owned by Koolanoo Group, the company is launching several new products in 2008, mail, browser and mobile applications. Voted by Baidu Annual Reports as ‘One to watch’ by the industry.
SNS is now the new synonym of web2.0. After obtaining $8M investment from Koolanoo Group, 360quan is confident enough to go public. Ms. Dong Binghui, Director of the website said last March, “our target audience has some overlapping with QQ.com and 51.com. This is not competition. 360quan combines two functions together and solve the problem of interactive rate. This is the opportunity of 360quan”.
In fact, targeting at users born after 1985, 360quan had a quite nice performance of more than 30 million users only one year after it was launched.
As we said it is going to be a hot summer…
A spokesperson for leading Japanese online social networking service Mixi said that Mixi was currently in the process of searching for local Chinese operators and staff with the goal of entering the Chinese market as soon as possible. At the same time, Mixi is also engaged in secret discussions with a number of local Chinese SNS sites, with the hopes of entering the Chinese market through a partnership arrangement. It has already been in discussion with several sites, including mobile social networking service TX.com, for several months, and may ultimately purchase a stake in TX.com for USD 20 mln. The source said that the two companies would cooperate primarily on a multiform wireless internet advertising model.
While the success and appeal of Facebook are well documented it is, of course, not the only SNS out there. Of the many hundreds of variants available around the world, one of the most popular is Japan’s Mixi.
Although the publicly listed mixi has a mere 10 million users (compared to Facebook’s 26 million in the US alone), that represents one in seven of all internet users in Japan. On top of that mixi users currently spend 1.2 billion minutes a month on the site – a figure that dwarfs the 726 million minutes YouTube attracts there or the 292 million racked up by Google in Japan.
Those statistics are doubly impressive when you consider that membership is by invitation only and that most users access the site exclusively by mobile phone.
As described in more detail in this excellent piece by Martyn over at Network World, among the many reasons for the success of mixi, one of the most significant has been the ability of users to control who sees their personal information within communities.
Another exmpale of impressive entry to the market is 360qun.com . Within a year 360Quan.com became Officially China’s 2nd Largest Social Network, and the fastest growing website in the history of online China. In addition, it is ranked Largest Friend Finder Website, 8th Largest Community-based Website, and nominated in the overall Top 5 most popular online destinations of China. Owned by Koolanoo Group, the company is launching several new products in 2008, mail, browser and mobile applications.