China's market in online advertising surged by 75 percent to 10.6 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007, according to a report by Internet consultant iResearch Inc.
The surge was largely driven by a boom in search engine advertising, or keyword advertising, which experienced an annual growth rate of 108.6 percent, said the report.
Search engine advertising accounted for 27.3 percent of the market in terms of value, up 4.3 percentage points over the previous year, and it was predicted to hit 30 percent this year, the report said.
Online brand advertising jumped 65.3 percent to 4.86 billion yuan in 2007 and was expected to reach 23.7 billion yuan by 2011, said the report.
Advertising embedded in games, software and video clips would also become the major driving forces for online advertising, it said.
The firm forecast that China's online advertising market would hit 17.2 billion yuan this year and 37 billion yuan in 2011.
China had 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007, the world's second largest online population and only five million fewer than the United States, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.
However, the United States reported more than 22.5 billion U.S. dollars in online advertising last year, about 15 times that of China.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2008)