Chinese adspend rose 9.1% in 2008

18 March 2009

BEIJING: Chinese adspend rose by 9.1% year-on-year to 189.96 billion yuan ($27.8bn; €21.4bn; £19.8bn) in 2008, according to the country's State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Television had the largest overall share of the Chinese advertising market last year, and its total ad revenues increased by 13.2% in 2008 on the previous year, to 50.15 billion yuan.

Online growth reached 10.21% for the year as a whole, taking the medium's total annual revenues to 2.78 billion yuan.

Newspaper adspend also rose by 6.36% to 34.27 billion yuan, while radio revenues expanded by 8.8% year-on-year to 6.83 billion yuan.

The SAIC reported that the number of "foreign-funded advertising companies" operating in China increased by 27.7% to 737 during 2008, and said this figure constituted just 0.4% of all advertising-related firms operating in the country.

Sina, one of China's biggest web portals, has also reported that its net revenues rose by 50% year-on-year to $369.6 million in 2008, with its net income also up by 54% to $88.8m for the year. 

In Q4 2008, the company's total revenues rose 44% on the year-ago period, but fell 4% on the previous quarter, while net income rose 46% year-on-year to $25.6m in the same period, an uplift of 17% quarter-on-quarter.

Its advertising revenues reached $255.1m for the year, up 54% on an annual basis, although growth slowed to 39% in the fourth quarter, to a total of $69.5m over the three months as a whole.

Charles Chao, the company's ceo, said the final quarter of last year was "solid", but added that the "spill-over of the global financial crisis into post-Olympic China has had a negative impact on the Chinese brand advertising market."

He argues that the Chinese ad industry had seen a "significant rebound" in demand since February, but that it "is too soon to assess the overall growth trend for brand advertising in China for the rest of 2009."

Overall, Sina predicts that its total revenues for the first quarter of this year will be between $73m and $77m, with adspend between $43m and $46m.

Data sourced from China Business News; additional content by WARC staff