Chinese mobile advertising trends and outlook

January 10, 2007 at 4:30 pm 1 comment

 James (MindShare regional team,Singapore) writes:

You probably know now that China has 400 million mobile phone users already, and that almost as many people access the internet by their handset as by a PC now. I just found this great interview article by Kiran Aditham with Madhouse CEO Joshua Maa at ADOTAS.

The article is long, and some parts read like a corporate brochure, but worth reading for all the juicy facts and predictions. I’ve cut out some favourite parts here below:

China handset market is more fragmented = complex

US operators buy handsets in bulk from handset makers such as Nokia and Motorola and then distribute them to end users as part of a package….As a result, the US has fewer overall handset models and the operators have greater control over handset specifications and functionality.

In China, users go to an electronics or phone shop directly to buy the handset of their choice. Once purchased, the Chinese user then inputs her SIM card into the handset and begins to make calls. For this reason, China has over 1,000 handset models on the market, creating a highly fragmented handset environment that lacks common standards: different screen sizes, operating systems, memory, and applications. The difficulty of adapting advertising content and campaigns to so many different devices creates barriers to entry.

Chinese SMS priced low, so consumers got used to texting:

Another difference is in user habits. When China launched SMS services, the carriers priced SMS low – a single text message was priced at 1/4 the price of 1 minute of airtime. The result: SMS has become a killer application. Chinese users are highly accustomed to sending and receiving text messages on their phones. In 2005, 305 billion SMS were sent in China (this is not a typo!).

Chinese mobile internet taking off:

Besides sending text messages, Chinese users are very active in the realm of mobile content. China has numerous Nasdaq-listed providers of mobile content and services, tapping a mobile content market that reached nearly US$ 1.3 billion in 2005 according to Credit Suisse.

In addition to paid content, China’s mobile users actively surf the mobile Internet. China Mobile reports over 100 million mobile Internet users on its 2.5G networks. Analysys forecasts China’s mobile Internet user base will grow from 115 million in 2006 to reach 230 million in 2008, outnumbering traditional PC-based Internet users.

Chinese mobile internet traffic not at carrier sites:

Traffic on off-deck sites in China is significantly higher than on official carrier sites. Leading off-deck sites such as WapTX,,, and provide free content, services, and community to their user bases.

Future for mobile advertising in China:

Japan is still the leader in mobile media, but advertisers in China are aware of the love affair Chinese are having with their mobile phones, and may be a step ahead in adapting to mobile media as an advertising channel. When 3G arrives in China allowing users to enjoy affordable and high-speed access, we expect the China mobile advertising market to race ahead of its US and European counterparts.

Flat-rate GPRS packages in China:

Mobile Internet GPRS service is available nearly everywhere in China, and operators are offering flat-rate monthly packages to encourage users to go online with

Chinese friends SMS WAP urls virally:

In addition to going online with their phones, users in China input urls into their phones to visit “off-deck” sites. In China we call them Free WAP sites. Friends can send url links via SMS to create a viral effect for sites or interesting advertising campaigns.

China introducing barcodes, which can be photographed by phone and link to internet

China is just beginning to introduce 2D barcode reader software that can be downloaded to the phone. Once users have the software installed, they use their camera-phones to take a picture of the barcode, which is then translated into a url link to the relevant site which can then be visited via connecting to the mobile Internet.

Entry filed under: china, content, digital, media general, mobile.

World’s best collection of visual tools. Ever. Chelsea target 120 million Chinese internet users

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Fashitek  |  November 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Interesting Information.For your Cheap,Reliable Bulk SMS Visit


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