Next big thing on the Web? look east! – Tamina Vahidy
When it comes to the Internet economy, China is the elephant in the room.
Sometime this year, according to sohu.com’s Dr. Charles Zhang, Chinese Internet users surpassed U.S. Internet users in number. We have roughly 154 million Internet users and China could have as many as 200 million.China is nearly four times larger than the U.S. That means China has much greater Internet growth potential, and that doesn’t even tell the whole story. Forbes reports that Chinese Internet users spend more time per capital online that U.S. users, with the figures currently being 1.765 billion online hours/week in China versus 129 million online hours/week here.
Imagine, then, that China’s Internet-using population doubles over the five years, and that Internet usage patterns remain the same. That would be a shift of staggering importance. For one, it would require that U.S. companies start thinking aggressively about Chinese-language online advertising and campaigns. It would also herald a change in the very DNA of the Internet, which has always been dominated by English, as Chinese would become an increasingly important online language. [Full Text]