SHENZHEN, CHINA - Media OutReach - 11 November, 2014 - Internet users in China's rapidly growing but less-developed third and fourth tier cities have very different entertainment consumption habits than their counterparts in the glitzier first and second tier cities. People in these smaller cities often access the internet primarily on cheap smartphones costing less than 1000 RMB ($160 USD). They tend to prefer reading novels, playing games and watching online videos, whereas users in the larger, more sophisticated cities prefer TV shows from foreign countries.
Frank Wang, the founder and CEO of Easou, China's second largest mobile search engine, said, "Most of our users are in the third and fourth tier cities, and we've noticed they have different interests than people in the top cities. We focus on their needs and give them more of what they want."
Wang said there are millions of online users in China watching Internet-streamed TV programs. Nearly 70% of TV shows watched in China are online, including 'Where Are We Going, Dad?' and 'The Voice of China.' Wang said Easou intends to provide the target users with customized entertainment content they need through partnerships with industry leaders and continuous upgrading of its proprietary search engine.
Many Internet giants are looking to seize a share of the valuable entertainment market. Alibaba has invested more than $3 billion since March 2014 in the entertainment industry, and is in talks of collaborating with Hollywood for its Internet television set-top boxes. It was targeted specifically at the first- and second-tier cities where people are eager to watch foreign movies and TV shows from US, Europe and South Korea.
At the same time, there are at least 50 websites offering online live video shows, such as YY and 9158. Just like TV stations, they are actually big media platforms, through which customers can experience instant and smooth voice chat, online live performances and virtual KTV shows. These sites not only have strong entertainment content, but also mature management systems for actors and actresses, appealing to users from lower-tier cities.
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