There are 420m internet users, 814m
mobile phone users and 277m mobile internet users in China.
Interestingly, the latter medium is split between very wealthy
professional consumers who lead busy lives and require an "always
on" connection, and the poorer bracket for whom it represents the
cheapest way to enable some basic form of internet access.
The government is encouraging the
development of a triple screen market, merging TV, online and
mobile and thereby creating new opportunities in on-demand TV from
PC and mobile, and mobile TV.
Government interaction with media
market can also be more mundane, for example, changing the mix of
commercial airtime minutage. At the start of 2010, SARFT (the
governing body that regulates advertising and media policies in
China) altered the way that off-peak airtime was regulated.
Instead of allowing broadcasters to
determine in which hour they broadcast their ad slots, up to a
limit of 20% of total broadcasting time for each station, the rule
was changed to a set 12 minutes per hour.
This has had the impact of significant
inflation for advertisers, but has also opened up other channels
for commercial messages, particularly by widening opportunities for
more content and sponsorship driven communications.