Baidu Tops Sina in Online Ad Market

Baidu.com took the leading position of the online advertisement market by outpacing Sina.com.cn in 2007, with a market share of 24.5%, according to latest statistics released by iResearch. This should further strengthen Baidu’s strategic alliance with Omniture.

iResearch says that China”s online advertisement market was worth of CNY 7 billion last year, an increase of 51.5% from the comparable period one year ago, of which sales generated by search engine advertisements were CNY 2.92 billion, up 85% from the year-earlier period.

iResearch rated Baidu.com with 7.3 scores by taking technology, products, marketing, brand recognition, and service into consideration and awarded the Chinese Internet service provider as Internet Advertisement Pioneer.

Figures from iResearch show that Baidu.com became the largest Web advertisement platform in China since the first quarter of 2007.

Shen Haoyu, vice president of the marketing department of Baidu.com, says that figures launched by third-party research companies are strong evidence of Baidu.com”s skyrocketing growth during the past few years.

At the moment, Internet search service has been deemed as the best marketing platform of small and mid-sized companies, but proportion of Baidu”s brand advertisement sales have been on the rise.

Mr. Shen notes that some newly-launched innovative advertising models have been well received by its customers. For example, the Baidu TV, a new advertising model kicked off by Baidu last year, integrates a long list of time-honored top- ranking Internet and traditional media to jointly promote video advertisements.

iResearch believes that as China”s Internet users are booming and the habit of audiences is changing, the online advertising market will continue its rapid growth in years ahead.

The market research firm forecasts that China”s online advertising market will have capacity of CNY 11.2 billion by the end of 2008.

Baidu.com holds about 65% of the Chinese market for the moment, posing a strong challenge to Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), the world’s largest search engine.

Baidu.com, which debuted on the NASDAQ in August 2005, has had a market capitalization of more than USD 6 billion, with an annual compound growth rate of 200%. Established in Beijing in 1999, Baidu.com has grown into the richest and largest China- based Internet company. Its stock closed at USD 193.90 on July 9, a 122% rise from USD 87.18 on the same day last year.

Baidu MP3 Search, the free music business of Baidu.com, takes a more than 84% market share in China, according to a latest report by iResearch, a Shanghai Internet research firm