Chinese Web users will spend 45.8 percent more this year on online games and booking hotel and flight tickets, among other services available online: total spending by Chinese Internet users will hit 581.5 billion yuan (US$77.53 billion), said an Internet Society of China report issued recently.
Of last year’s spending, the bulk was for Internet access fees and online shopping, while only a small percentage of users paid for services such as online music, video and anti-virus software, the report, titled Netguide 2008, showed. The spending figures don’t include online advertising.
The report’s findings are based on data collected from a survey of 50,786 mainland Internet users and 270 companies across the country, as well as from seminars and interviews with industry experts.
The monthly spend per Web user last year was 182.6 yuan, and ISC predicts a 8.8 percent growth for each Web user this year.
Online game, ranking third most paid-for service per Web user last year, is expected to bring the game companies a total of 13 billion yuan in sales this year, 39 percent more than last year, as the number of gamers expands by 11 million to 59 million.
Among other rapidly growing sectors, online travel registered a 65.4 percent growth over 2006 last year to reach 2.25 billion Yuan as more and more travelers are using the Internet to book hotels and air tickets.
Search-related ads in China generated sales in of 2.87 billion Yuan (a little over 380 Million US dollars) last year, a whopping 82.8 percent year-on-year growth. It should continue to grow at 81 percent this year, outpacing growth of online branding ads sales, and hit nine billion Yuan in 2009 (over 1.3 Billion US Dollars).