Executive Briefings

Plan to Make a Killing in Chinese E-Commerce? Think Again.

One of the more striking end-of-year statistics pumped out recently by the Chinese government was an update on the number of internet users in the country, which had reached 210 million. It is a staggering figure, up by more than 50 percent on the previous year and more than three times the number for India, the emerging Asian giant with which China is most often compared. Within a few months, according to Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, China will have more internet users than America, the current leader. And because the proportion of the population using the internet is so low, at just 16 percent, rapid growth is likely to continue for some time.
So what is the internet used for in China? Its most obvious use is to distribute free pirated films, television shows and music. But when it comes to making money online, the biggest market involves the delivery of mobile-internet content to mobile phones.
Source: The Economist, http://www.economist.com

One of the more striking end-of-year statistics pumped out recently by the Chinese government was an update on the number of internet users in the country, which had reached 210 million. It is a staggering figure, up by more than 50 percent on the previous year and more than three times the number for India, the emerging Asian giant with which China is most often compared. Within a few months, according to Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, China will have more internet users than America, the current leader. And because the proportion of the population using the internet is so low, at just 16 percent, rapid growth is likely to continue for some time.
So what is the internet used for in China? Its most obvious use is to distribute free pirated films, television shows and music. But when it comes to making money online, the biggest market involves the delivery of mobile-internet content to mobile phones.
Source: The Economist, http://www.economist.com