Local cultural and media tastes need differing creative approaches

Dirk Eschenbacher

When I moved to China in March 2001, the internet statistics were intriguing: 18 million people online in China alone seemed like an outrageously high number. Eight years later, there are 250 million Chinese consumers online, making them the world's largest internet population.

A few years ago, Chinese telecoms companies stopped selling modems and went straight to installing broadband connections. Now 215 million people have broadband, equipped with 1Mb lines, craving anything that is potentially entertaining. That's not a bad platform to work on as a creative person in a digital agency.

The number of internet users may be extremely high, but that doesn't mean we are talking to highly sophisticated consumers. China's marketing and advertising industry is just 15 years old and, in many cases, you don't have to be all that creative to cut through the clutter. In fact, Chinese consumers don't mind the clutter, which is almost part of their culture.