LONDON, February 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
In 2008, China overtook U.S. as the world's biggest Internet market. In the next four years, China's Internet market has more than doubled. The Chinese Internet market is expected to continue to grow at a robust pace this year, offering significant opportunities to companies such as Chinese language search engine provider Baidu.com Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ : BIDU ) and online media company SINA Corp. (NASDAQ : SINA ). StockCall free coverage on Baidu and SINA is available upon registration at
The World's Biggest Internet Market
In June 2008, Internet users in China hit 253 million, which helped the country overtake the U.S. as the biggest Internet market. Since then China's Internet market has grown at a robust pace, more than doubling its size by June 2012.
According to data from China Internet Network Information Center's (CNNIC) 30th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, released in September last year, China had 538 million Internet users by the end of June 2012. Internet penetration rate reached 39.9% by the end of June 2012. While 538 million Internet users is a huge number, the fact that less than half of China's population still has Internet access suggests that there is scope for further growth.
The CNNIC report showed that China had 146 million rural Internet users by the end of June 2012, which is an encouraging sign.
The robust growth in China's Internet market is expected to continue in 2013, with the CNNIC forecasting that the country's Internet population will hit 718 million by 2013. This presents significant opportunities to companies such as Baidu.com and SINA. Download the free technical research on SINA by signing up at
China's Biggest Search Engine
Baidu.com is China's biggest search engine provider, with around 60% of the market share. Earlier this week, the company had reported robust fourth quarter financial results. Register now and get access to the free analysis on Baidu.com at
BIDU's total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $1.017 billion, up 41.6% over the same period in the previous year. For the full year 2012, the company had revenue of $3.58 billion, up 53.8% over 2011.
Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, noted that revenue growth and profitability maintained a healthy trajectory in 2012 as the company continued to invest aggressively in developing a comprehensive ecosystem. Li said that in 2013, the company will be stepping up its investments and increasing its sales and marketing efforts to ensure it captures the huge opportunities ahead.
The challenge for Baidu.com will be to adapt as more and more Internet users in China shift to mobile. According to CNNIC report, in the first half of 2012, the percentage of mobile Internet users rose to 72.2%. With smartphones and tablet sales expected to grow at a robust pace in China, mobile Internet users are expected to rise.
Opportunities for SINA
SINA, which operates the micro-blogging site Weibo.com, is looking to capitalize on the increase in mobile microblog users in China. According to data from CNNIC, mobile microblog users rose from 137 million at the end of 2011 to 170 million by the end of 2012.
It will be interesting to see how well SINA is monetizing Weibo when the company reports its quarterly results later this month.
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