BEIJING: Online advertising expenditure will continue to rise in China this year, with the rate of growth accelerating when compared to that recorded in 2009.

China Knowledge, the business and financial information provider, reported that internet ad revenues reached 20.73 billion yuan ($3.0bn; €2.2bn; £2.0bn) in the country last year, up by 21.9% on an annual basis.

This came in spite of a decline of 4.7% year-on-year – and 17.3% quarter-on-quarter – recorded in the first quarter, when total spending stood at 3.43bn yuan.

Search was argued to be the primary driver of the web's overall expansion, registering an improvement of 38.2%, to 6.95bn yuan, in the last 12 months.

E-commerce sites also enjoyed an uptick of 116% in the same period, albeit to a more modest 660 million yuan.

Looking forward, it is estimated that internet advertising sales will climb to 30.32bn yuan in 2010.

This trend seems to reflect positive developments which are currently observable across the media industry as a whole in the world's most populous nation.

China Knowledge stated that China Central Television, the state broadcaster, and Focus Media Holdings, an outdoor and mobile specialist, both increased their ad rates in January.

Sina, one of the country's biggest online companies, has also predicted that its advertising revenues will leap by between 43% and 46% in Q1 2010.

As previously reported, CTR Research found that total advertising expenditure rose by 13.5% in China last year, a figure Warc's latest Consensus Forecast, published in December, pegged at 8.0%.

Data sourced from China Knowledge