Microsoft Corp's MSN division launched five new channels on its
Chinese-language portal Website yesterday to attract more white-collar users,
and differentiate itself from rival Tencent (QQ) which is very popular with
The move should help Microsoft further cash in on China's rapidly growing
online advertising market, industry insiders said.
Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology Company Ltd, Microsoft's 50-50
joint venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd, added match-making,
reading, chat, auto and data analysis channels through the cooperation with five
domestic Websites such as love21cn.com.
MSN China will join hands with 20 domestic Websites by the end of this year,
up from 12 at present.
The Chinese language portal, which was set up last May, receives more than
120 million page views a day, said the firm's regional director Luo Chuan.
"After one year's operation, we have strengthened our decision to provide
fashion and unique services and content for white-collar clients," Luo said,
defining the target audience as those who earn 50,000 to 100,000 yuan a year.
"With a clear target, we will better serve our advertisers."
Luo said the firm will conduct five advertising surveys throughout the year.
Currently, about 11 million people use MSN's instant messaging service in
China, making it the second most popular messaging system in the country behind
QQ is already earning a profit from online games and sales of virtual items,
while MSN has yet to earn any revenue from its instant message service. It now
aims to cash in on online advertising.
"The value of MSN's service is to provide advertisers a clear target group,
above 22 with strong consumption power," said Yu Yang, president of Analysys
International, a Beijing-based consulting firm.
In the West, online advertising income accounts for 5 percent of all media
spending, but the figure is less than 1 percent in China at present, which
provides "a big opportunity" in the country with over 100 million Internet
users, according to Tom Bowman, regional sales director for MSN
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