The evolution of China’s internet is one of the biggest business stories of the year, especially after search engine Baidu’s hugely oversubscribed Nasdaq IPO this northern summer. The sector has many classic China features: it has been heavily (and successfully) supported by the Government, the numbers involved are huge and it’s not turning out as many people expected.
The prime driver of the internet in China has been mobile phones, not PCs as in the US. There are tens of millions of mobile phone users in China who can’t afford PCs, much less laptops. As a result, a Chinese industry has evolved for providing content to mobile phones, originally based on SMS (short message services).
* The writer remains anonymous to protect his position in China.