By Carel van Apeldoorn
The Chinese Mobile Ads Market: Chasing rainbows or the real deal?

At StartUp Grind Guangzhou’s maiden event, Chance Jiang will sit down with Chen Di, founder of the first mobile ads network in China, Youmi.net. In preparation for this event, we want to share some stats and insights into the dynamics, similarities and differences between the US and China market.
The current mobile ads market in China is near the same level as the US in 2009. In 2009, US mobile market spending reached 900 million USD, and two major acquisitions occurred: AdMob was acquired by Google for 750MM USD, while Quattro was acquired by Apple for 275MM USD (Early 2010). Smartphone penetration was at about 20% of all mobile users and future projections were through the roof.
It was around this time that Mr. Chen Di started youmi.net in his dorm room with his classmates, backed by seed money as winner of a campus programming contest. As China’s first mobile ads platform, youmi.net kick-started a brand new category in this country’s media advertising space. From almost nothing in 2009, we are seeing revenue in 2012 at 890 million USD (5.52B RMB). Yet compared to the US market’s 20% market saturation, in China we are only at 6% smartphone penetration

According to KPCB’s Mary Meeker, today’s US market brings in 1.6B USD, with 50% market penetration. This give us the question: what happens when China is at 50% market penetration? Some quick calculations using the US as a baseline show that the Chinese market could grow to the size of 5.2B USD (32.3B RMB) in a few short years as more and more mobile subscribers upgrade to smartphones, creating a massive addressable market in the very near future. Without a doubt, within a few years the mobile ads market in China will outpace the rest of the world.

Join us at our maiden event at Beta Cafe in Guangzhou on December 14 and learn how Chen Di got started and what they are chasing to accomplish. Reserve your ticket here. Venue opens at 6pm. The fire site chat with Chen Di starts at 7:30pm. (Ticket price RMB 100, drinks and pizza included)