China Search Engine and Internet Users Behavior Report 2008

China’s Internet authority China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released some interesting data based on its reports namely “2008 Chinese Search Engine Market Advertisers Research Report” and “2008 Chinese Search Engine User Behavior Study”.

China’s Internet population has reached 298 million in early 2009. The average income of Internet users is marginally higher than the national average, so the strength definitely lies in China’s massive online population.

Chinese Search Engine Usage Data

  • 64.9% of Internet advertisers use more than one search engines, and among those who use search marketing platforms, 86% used Baidu and 60.2% used Google.
  • The number of mobile Web surfers surged 113 percent to 117.6 million in 2008 and mobile Internet is expected to grow explosively in the next few years after the recent issuance of third-generation (3G) licenses, the state-run agency said.
  • Among advertisers who chose only one search engine marketing platform, 72.2% selected Baidu.
  • 49.3% advertisers are in manufacturing industry; 12.5% in IT; 10.3% in trade; 6% in service. Advertisers for all other industries are less than 5% except pharmaceutical and chemical industry.
  • Among all companies who participated in the survey, 14.1% is willing to do SEM and invest more in SEM. 55.3% WILL do SEM and keep the current spend level. 4.6% will do SEM but will lower the spend. 7.8% will not and 18.2% are not sure.

China Internet

China Internet User Behavior

  • Search engine users who are not satisfied with the results of an initial query:
    1. 60.5% of users will enter another query
    2. 46.6% of users will refine their search queries
    3. 40% will change search engines
    4. 30.4% will search again using existing keywords
    5. 26.1% will give up using search engines
  • 70.1% of Chinese search engine users are below 30 years old and 31.7% of them are students. Among those non-student users, 30.3% received high school education as highest education, 28.8% received diploma, and 25.1% received university degree.
  • Sogou (sohu’s search engine) market share continued to climb up and 2.9% of search engine users select sogou as the first choice; 1.6% chose Yahoo.
  • 40.8% search engine users have monthly income of below 1000 yuan (US$146.21). 25.9% between 1001-2000 (USD 146 to USD 292). 33.3% above 2000 yuan (USD 292). Average income of search engine users is higher than that of Internet users, showing higher commercial value.

It is also notable that the Internet penetration rate in China has risen to 22.6 percent, slightly higher than the world’s average of 21.9 percent, CNNIC said in a report.

What shall we do with these reports? Marketers should now be able to dissect the segments (youngsters, students, professionals, etc) and apply online marketing strategies appropriate for these segments.