BEIJING: Auto manufacturers are expected to increase their online spending in China from 1.38 billion yuan ($201m; €153m; £137m) to 1.75bn yuan this year according to iResearch, and are also set to use a wide range of other tools from web-based games to interactive ads to boost their presence on the medium.

Carmakers including BMW, Volvo, Buick and Shanghai Automotive have all taken up sponsorship deals to feature their vehicles in an online game which lets users drive "virtual" cars on the social networking portal Kaixin001.

Terry Johnsson, vice president of Shanghai General Motors – a partnership between GM and Shanghai Automotive – also says the company plans to boost its activity on social networks, and has doubled its online budget to almost 10% of its total media spend this year. 

Nissan, one of the most popular car brands in China, is also working with popular portals like Sohu and Sina, as well as targeted automotive sites like Xcar and Cheshi, though the company has announced it plans to cut its total adspend this year.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff