BEIJING: Consumers in China generated more new online content than professional and corporate sources for the first time during the first half of this year, a study has found.

According to the Data Center of China Internet, the research firm, material produced by regular netizens on blogs, social networks, forums and other such services contributed 50.7% of information uploaded in H1 2010.

The proportion attributable to e-commerce sites, search engines, news outlets and similar properties stood at 47.3% in this period.

Elsewhere, social media portals delivered 50.1% of all page views in the opening six months of 2010, with video gaining rapidly in popularity.

DCCI predicted the online audience in China will reach 469m people by the end of 2010, equivalent to a penetration rate of 35% overall.

Totals will continue to expand to 2013, when 718m people, or 52.7% of the domestic population, are likely to have access to the web.

In keeping with this trend, internet advertising expenditure is set to enjoy a surge in demand, taking some 27.3bn yuan ($4.0bn; €3.1bn; £2.5bn) this year, a share of 11%.

This compares with 25.3bn yuan in 2009 and a forecast figure of 42.3bn yuan in 2012, by which date the web will surpass newspapers to become the second-largest medium in the country.

Search advertising revenues came in at 4.9bn yuan in H1 2010, with advertising networks on 1.3bn yuan, web communities on 420m yuan and video/media platforms on 380m yuan.

"In the internet advertising market, search engines, online communities and video sites are the fastest-growing [portals]," Hu Yanping, director of the DCCI, said.

"I think the increase in search engine sales will slow in five years due to its current large market base, while sales of online communities and video sites will continue to grow quickly."

Data sourced from CRI English/Marbridge Consulting; additional content by Warc staff