BlueFocus Communications Group, a major Chinese advertisement firm, has announced its investment through a wholly owned subsidiary in a 25% stake in Beijing Xilehang Technology, the exclusive Wi-Fi internet access service provider for HNA Group. The stake went for 200 million yuan (US$32.2 million), according to Sina’s tech news portal. Xilehang has been offering internet service through its proprietary Wi-Fi system, which has earned HK STC (Hong Kong Standard and Testing Centre) certification, the first for such a Chinese system.
Brand management company BlueFocus Communication Group will acquire two major mobile advertising companies Domob Limited and Madhouse Inc. The report revealed that BlueFocus will acquire a 100% stake in Domob Limited and a 95% stake in Domob Network Technology for USD289 million; and the company will acquire a 51% stake in Madhouse Inc. for USD61.2 million. At the same time, BlueFocus will invest an additional USD10 million in Madhouse and they will hold a 54.77% stake in the latter on the completion of the investment.
Chinese search engine company Baidu announced that they will acquire a controlling stake in popIn, a native advertising company in Japan. According to the terms of the transaction, popIn’s existing management team will be able to independently operate its businesses within the enterprise architecture of Baidu. On the completion of the acquisition, Baidu’s advertising platform will adopt popIn’s READ technology and content recommendation technology to improve its accuracy of advertising.
WeChat, China’s most popular chat app, announced today it has begun testing out banner ads and promoted app installs on its “article view” pages. WeChat tends to attract the foreign tech industry’s attention for its growing number of services, like taxi booking and mobile payments. But it’s also a popular destination for news reading. Publishers will often push out content daily through their official accounts, using WeChat’s own publishing platform or a third-party one.
Hangzhou-based TV drama production company Huace Film&TV has teamed up with smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, with the former’s programs being made available on the latter’s platform including internet TV and mobile devices, reports Shanghai’s China Business News. Hua Theater, the brand name of Huace’s original Chinese-language TV dramas, will enter Xiaomi’s TV and mobile devices via apps or a special section pre-installed in individual devices.
Indian ecommerce leader Flipkart has just announced its acquisition of mobile ad network AdIQuity which enables app developers and mobile publishers to monetize their inventory. “M&A (mergers and acquisitions) is a key focus for us this year. And given our concentration on mobile, companies that have made a mark in this space will be on our radar,” a Flipkart spokesperson told Tech in Asia.
BANGALORE: Flipkart will soon offer online advertising and brand consulting for vendors using its electronic marketplace, its diversification into fee-based businesses much like Google or Facebook aimed at chasing new high-margin revenue streams to accelerate profitability ahead of a potential public listing. On the commerce front, the company has picked furniture as a category it will seek to expand in as part of this thrust into higher margin areas, sources familiar with the company’s plans told ET.
iiNet has paid out $204,000 in penalties over advertisements for its 250GB naked broadband plan after being issued with two infringement notices by the consumer watchdog. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today said the ads had failed to prominently display the minimum price of the service, giving the ACCC “reasonable grounds” to believe iiNet had contravened consumer law.
Last week, Adways sent around a press release hinting it would reveal that its overseas business became profitable. Today, in its latest quarterly earnings announcement, the firm confirmed as much. Known for its online and mobile ad network, Adways expects revenue of JPY 5.4 billion (US$45.4 million) against an operating profit of JPY 70 million (US$588,000) for the fiscal year.
Providers of online advertising services in the China market generated total revenues of CNY47.01 billion (US$7.65 billion) during the fourth quarter of 2014, growing 7.9% on quarter and 56.3% on year, according to China-based consulting company Analysys International.
Google will begin to implement its Digital Mars Initiative, a plan to cultivate young digital marketing professionals in Taiwan, in March 2015, according to Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng. Google will allow new university or college graduates to register for free training courses on Google AdWord certification provided by Google in March and select 1,200 trainees for qualification examinations based on their digital marketing proposals and related experience and professional certificates beginning April, Chien said.
WeChat is testing out adverts, according to numerous screenshots floating around the web today. The adverts are in the WeChat Moments section of the app, which is a bit like the Facebook timeline. The first ever ad inside WeChat Moments seems to be a test by Tencent itself. It shows a Moments post by WeChat’s own official account showing up labelled as a “promoted” post in random people’s timelines.
Alibaba announced in a statement today it has bought a majority stake in AdChina, the country’s largest independent digital advertising technology platform. The investment sum was not disclosed. AdChina will now work closely with Alimama and Aliyun, Alibaba’s marketing and cloud computing units, respectively. Together they will developed an end-to-end marketing service, which Alibaba says will allow it to increase brand-building and sales integration now used by companies and merchants.
MOBILE marketing platform company Vserv has announced a partnership with PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL), which it said is the second largest telecom service operator in Indonesia. The partnership will integrate Vserv Smart Data platform with XL Axiata to help drive higher ROI (return on investment) for mobile entertainment companies, Vserv said in a statement.
The internet ecosystem may exist thanks in large part to the revenue ads generate, but most users would probably still agree: ads are annoying. That’s especially true in the cases of those pesky ads that just don’t want to let you close them – the ones that don’t feature an obvious X to close them out or the ones where the X doesn’t close the ad and instead takes you to another site. But that kind of online advertisement may soon be illegal in China.
Providers of online advertising services in the China market generated total revenues of CNY43.55 billion (US$7.06 billion) in third-quarter 2014, growing 16.7% sequentially and 51.4% on year, according to Analysys International. Among different types of online advertising, keyword search accounted for 38.9% of the total revenues, followed by brand images/text (advertising space) with 25.2%, video with 23.2% and e-mail with 0.8%, Analysys indicated.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, head of the e-information management division of the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Agency, warned that online newspapers may face very high risks as they cannot control the content of the ads. Meanwhile, under current laws, newspapers must take responsibility for their content, including advertising content. If the content in ad pieces is “problematic”, the online newspapers’ editorial board will have to claim responsibility for infringing the law and will have to bear sanctions.
Indian startup AdNear, which provides location-based intelligence for advertising, has just raised US$19 million in series B funding. What is significant is that a leading Japanese venture capital firm, Global Brain, and the VC arm of Australian telecom giant Telstra have come on board, joining existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners in this round. AdNear, which started in Bangalore but is now headquartered in Singapore, has taken its unique adtech model across Southeast Asia, Australia, and most recently, Japan.
Softbank, Japan’s robot-loving telco, today announced a business tie-up with Tokyo-based ad tech startup Geniee . Starting next month, Softbank will launch a supply-side advertising platform (SSP), in collaboration with Geniee, which the wireless carrier hopes will give a boost to its internet advertising business. As part of the deal, Softbank will purchase a minority stake in Geniee that accounts for 32.9 percent of the startup’s outstanding shares.
Not so long ago, an ad exchange connecting marketers, advertisers, and publishers with mobile users was the hot new thing. There was no bigger news in late 2012 than social network Facebook kicking off its own ad exchange, FBX , to monetize its millions of users. Just a few months back, Indian superstar InMobi – dubbed “the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network” – launched its ad exchange to capitalize on a growing trend of programmatic buying and selling of ads.