China is the largest web space with the number of Internet users exceeding 1 billion. The online ad market in China today is estimated at $44B with the auto ads’ share of $15.9B. This is the second largest market after the USA where more than half of display ads are sold via programmatic advertising.

Instead of usual for us Google and Facebook which also use programmatic tools, the Chinese market is dominated by giants such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) whose total share exceeds 90%.

The BAT have their own ad networks and data management platforms (DMPs) and are extremely unwilling to share them. While a western advertiser is used to interact with an agency trading desk (ATD) to configure advertising settings, in China the advertiser encounters local intermediaries that are: 1) fewer than fingers on your hand; 2) willing to work with the residents of China only; 3) non-transparent in terms of ad campaign's key performance indicators.

But despite the above troubles, if you managed to settle in the Chinese market or found an agent, then dealing with programmatic platforms will not be a barrier for you. Our team will take care of all the operations and help you to launch an advertising campaign with clear KPIs and transparent reporting.

How It Works

Programmatic is a model for automated buying, selling and optimizing online ads, where the main idea is not just impressions but impressions for the right target audience through many communication channels – social networks, media web resources, and large information portals. Relevant communication channels in China may include:

Baidu, the largest search engine (similar to Google banned in China) with internal services for the distribution of contextual and native advertising: Baidu Tieba, Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Baike, etc. The total audience of more than 1 billion.

WeChat platform (part of the ecosystem of the Internet giant Tencent) and WeiBo (Sina Corp.) - microblogging service (Sina Corp.) are China's largest social networks with an audience of 1 billion on WeChat and 700 million on WeiBo.

Video hosting services Youku, IQIYI, Tudou, and Tencent Video (equivalents of YouTube banned in China) hold the Chinese market of 900 million active users.

Back to automated ads, China has a programmatic model essentially identical to the Western one but with some Chinese specific features, with an advertiser on one hand and a publisher on the other hand, and the advertiser wants the publisher to publish his/her ads.

Capitalization of online advertising market in China

capitalization online ads china.

in USD billions

Growth percentage

Capitalization of programmatic ad impressions in China

capitalization programmatic ad impressions china.

In USD billions

Capitalization of mobile programmatic advertising market in China

capitalization mobile programmatic ads china.

In USD billions

Advertisers-publisher interaction tools in programmatic ads in China


Advertiser's tools:

DSP (Demand-Side Platforms) - to buy targeted traffic from SSP at the lowest price

ATD (Agency Trading Desk) - a platform to configure advertiser's ad settings

Publisher's tools:

SSP (Supply-Side Platforms) - to sell site traffic with the maximum profit for the publisher

Ad Networks - to aggregate ad placement sites and compare them with advertisers' demands

Ad Exchange - a place where publishers’ offers and demands of advertisers meet

How do advertisers know about visitors of the web resource covered by an advertising campaign? The cookies of your browser and your mobile devices produce a digital portrait and store it on the web resources you visit.

As the amount of data about visitors grows, there is a need to manage and process it, and this is done by DMPs (Data Management Platforms). DMPs process and segment the data on web resource audiences and sell it to the programmatic.

There are two kinds of ad purchase:

RTB Auctions - real-time auctions where advertisers bargain for an ad slot at a publisher. The process takes a split second while you are loading the page of a web resource. The auctions may be:

Open: advertisers bargain for the most profitable ad slot.

Closed: the site selects a group of publishers to bargain for the ad slots designated by the site.

Programmatic Direct, direct placement at specific publisher. It can also be of two types:

Preferred Deal: deal at a fixed price but without guaranteed impressions.

Programmatic Guaranteed: deal at a fixed price and with guaranteed impressions. This is a kind of deals where the advertiser does not focus on his target audience, but buys ad from a specific site.

Programmatic Advertisement in China with China Digital Marketing Agency:

China Digital Marketing Agency deals with the most effective Trading Desk platforms to launch an ad campaign and covers almost all the areas of activity.

Analysis of major SSPs of publishers to determine relevant communication channels

Native and contextual advertising on desktop and mobile devices

Placement of ad pre-roll/mid-roll videos on major Chinese video hosting sites

Access to the Trading Desk platforms

Real-time analytics and reporting

Customization of your personal account and configuring your targeting settings

Tell us about your business , and we will offer the most effective tools for promoting your services in the Chinese web space.

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