One in nine of the world's online population of 772m lives in China and that figure is set to soar as China's internet penetration is just 9% while the average in the more developed countries of the Asia-Pacific region is between 50% and 60%.
Comscore's latest figures on internet usage in AsiaPac confirm that China is already the largest internet market in the region with 91.5m unique users estimated in May. Japan comes second with 53.7m users and South Korea is a distant third with 26.3m users. Combined these three countries account for 60% of the region's online population.
Online marketeers in the west who want to make an impression in AsiaPac should therefore brush up not just on Asian languages but also on their double-byte coding skills, as Japanese, South Korean and Chinese websites all require the use of double-byte coding. For more on some of the technical challenges involved in Asian online marketing see this story on gnext.com.
Sleeping giant India has just 22.8m net users according to Comscore and is the only AsiaPac country with lower penetration than China — just 3%.
The top three destinations for China's net population are Microsoft, Baidu and Tencent. EngagingChina no doubt would have also made the list but unfortunately access from China to our site has been blocked for many months.
Elsewhere on the internet front:
By 2011, China will lead the world in the number of subscribers to internet protocol TV services. The massive size of the population, combined with the government's championing of new technologies for the 2008 Olympics are the principal reasons for the growth, according to market research firm iSuppli. But in terms of revenue, North Amercia is set to be the largest market with more than $10 billion in IPTV subscription revenue by 2011.