China spent more on mobile ads than US in Q3, targets Southeast Asia and Middle East

Paul Bischoff

China spent 25 percent more than the United States on mobile ads in the third quarter of this year, according to mobile advertising platform AppFlood. Chinese mobile advertisers like Baidu (BIDU) and Qihoo (QIHU) increased their spending on mobile advertising by 151 percent between March and September.

“Mobile ad spend by Chinese developers picked up in July and even surpassed USA’s ad spend by September,” adds AppFlood spokesperson Francis Bea.

Earlier this year we commented on Chinese internet companies’ reluctance to expand overseas. That no longer seems to be the case, but developers in China aren’t competing on Americans’ turf.

“Their target regions aren’t solely focused on the West,” says Bea. “Rather, they’re spending more on traffic from South East Asia and the Middle East than North America.” [sic]

AppFlood chinese developer ad spend by country

The surge in overseas ad spending demonstrates Chinese developers’ eagerness to expand internationally. AppFlood’s report shows less than one percent of their advertising budgets were spent on acquiring Chinese users. In contrast, 7.2 percent was spent on India, 6.5 percent on Saudi Arabia, 4.9 percent on Indonesia, and 3.8 percent on Thailand. Overall, they spent 28 times more on Southeast China than their own domestic market.

(See also: The truth about mobile advertising in China)

According to AppFlood, Chinese developers “use Southeast Asia and the Middle East as an international test bed for their app or game before launching it to the rest of the world, in the same way that Western developers use Canada and New Zealand for pre-launch testing.”

Globally, AppFlood reports Android ad revenue increased 332 percent between March and October this year. Asia’s share of that was just three percent below North America’s.

(Editing by Josh Horwitz)

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