Advertising Spotlight: China in 2014

Our advertising spotlight this month shines on a place notably on the rise and
with incredible reach, the intriguing country of China. Interesting trends in China include current digital usage and print media movement as we look ahead to the remainder of 2014 and beyond. All predictions point to expanding opportunities for advertisers.


flag of china multimedia

Digital use is a significantly growing trend in China. In fact, this year it is one of only 12 countries where the digital market will be larger than television. Instant messaging and online shopping are popular internet activities for Chinese users, while once-popular “microblogging” is on the decline. Additionally, it is driving online and mobile gaming growth, and surpassed Japan as the Pacific’s largest gaming market last year.

Another trend within this sector is mobile, of the half billion internet users in China, nearly three quarters are first-time users on their mobile device, and it is a growing platform for internet use. This is a big opportunity for advertising as we move forward; “mobile-social” will grow to make up more than 10 percent of the total digital market by 2018. Currently, mobile-based advertising comprises 10 percent of digital ad revenues and 3.5 percent of total ad revenues in China.

These percentages may seem small but they represent such a large number of people due to the country’s population. For example, China’s programmatic market share is only 5 percent now but will increase to 23 percent by 2017. It will still be the third largest programmatic market globally in 2017 due to the massive size of the Chinese digital market.


Together with fellow “BRIC” countries of Brazil, Russia, and India, China is a growing world power, especially in the realm of advertising. In fact, according to one Canadian study, it is a “country to watch” as one of “nine high-growth markets [are] powering global entertainment and media revenue.” Due to the sheer number of people in the country (it is the world’s most populous country) China offers a reach impossible in other regions. Its prowess in advertising is evident in the numbers. Its total ad spend is estimated to be worth $57 billion next year, second only to the US. China has the second largest search advertising market in the world behind the US, at more than $11 billion in 2014.

Media Outlet Showcase – China Daily

Newspaper is one media outlet that stands out in China, particularly in contrast to much of the rest of the world. Although it is widely publicized that print is in decline in the US and much of Europe, it is making gains in China. “Print circulation continues to rise in countries with a growing middle class and relatively low broadband penetration.” Circulation has risen the last five years, not just in China but throughout Asia. This increase in print included an increase in newspaper advertising in the Asian and Pacific regions.  Media placement in publications, such as the China Daily newspaper are valuable as circulation, readership, and marketability increase. China Daily is regarded as China’s most authoritative English language publication by many across the globe.  It is an especially important outlet for government and business topics.

If you would like to learn more about advertising in China or China Daily contact us.