Its official – China has a massive population!
We earlier mentioned that China had surpased the USA as the biggest internet users, but now it is official. The China internet ‘population’ is now at 253 million, compared to the USA’s 231 million. The crazy bit is that internet penetration is only at 19% in China.
So if we are only looking at users,(and potential users) China wins hands down. But things arent so rosy when we look at how things are going monetising all those users here. In 2007 the total revenue for internet comapnies in China was about £3 billion, which while up 46% on the previous year fall well short of the West. In 2007 internet revenue from advertising alone was about £10.6 billion.
OK, things are cheaper over here in China, so perhaps it is not surprising to see revenue being less. But there is a massive hole in China for tranasctional websites. There are a couple of good ones, but considering the size of the market there should be a whole lot more. Maybe the infrastructure and payment methods need some ironing out, but once they are sorted I expect we will see the real boom in online over here.
China’s internet population should reach 490 million by 2012. That is more then the entire population of the USA, or 8 times the population of the UK. And with the Chinese ¥ continuing to do well while the West is heading towards recession, maybe we will see those internet revenues reverse.