BEIJING: Internet display advertising is continuing to grow in China, as an increasing number of marketers turn to the web in an effort to engage with the world's biggest online audience.

It is estimated that there are over 330 million web users in the Asian nation at present, despite the fact penetration currently stands at just 25%.

According to CR-Nielsen, the research firm, web display revenues reached 1.77 billion yuan ($259m; €173m; £157m) in China in September, up by 17.8% on the previous month, and 82.9% on the same period in 2008.

Some 3,019 advertisers ran 9,634 campaigns during the ninth month of this year, yielding a total of 25,350 display executions.

The amount of firms utilising this medium rose by 19.5% compared with August, and 38.5% on an annual basis, with the number of campaigns also increasing by 15.9% and 32.0% on these measures respectively.

By category, the automotive sector was responsible for 17.8% of overall activity, a figure that declined to 12.7% for computers and electronics, and 9.5% for entertainment.

However, while the first two of these groups increased their outlay by an average of more than 70%, the entertainment, fashion and FMCG sectors all reined in their expenditure.

Shiji Jiayuan, the internet dating portal, was the biggest-spending advertiser, on 37 million yuan, followed by Hyundai, the automaker, on 34 million yuan, and China Mobile, the telecoms giant, on 33 million yuan.

Data sourced from Marbridge Consulting; additional content by Warc staff