See the new Digital A-List China now at thealist.campaignasia.com.
In 1987, when the first email sent from Beijing pinged a computer in Germany, it was a moment that exhilarated a roomful of engineers but not much beyond that. Almost 30 years later that event has implications for nearly the whole of China, and the world. As a share of GDP, China’s e-economy clocks in at about 7 per cent, putting the nation well ahead of Japan (at 5.6) and the USA (at 5.4) according to numbers from Statista.
Saying China’s web story is big begs for some context. By the end of June 2014, the CNNIC reports, 632 million people in China were online, for a penetration rate of 46.9 per cent. But another report from the MIIT has even more staggering numbers, pegging the count of China’s mobile internet users as already past 850 million. And that study only goes up to May 2014. Today we’ll be much closer to hitting the 1 billion mark, considering a growth rate of near 5 per cent for the past several years. The staggering thing for marketers to consider is close to 80 per cent of China’s online population falls into the magic consumer age group of 18 to 34 year olds, according to eMarketer estimates.
As a singular business story, this may be the biggest one out there. And sometimes that makes it too easy to get caught up in the numbers or the technology. That’s why Campaign takes a moment each year to shine some spotlight on the people behind it all.
The Digital A-List China is your chance to see who is making waves in this vast sea of internet business as well as some up-and-coming faces that could be calling the shots a few years ahead. You can find a wide demographic of people in our Digital Stars section, ranging from marketing stalwarts to freshly minted leaders.
The internet, and the marketing industry growing up with it, have seen nothing but growth for the past 20 years. For anyone that got involved early on, it’s likely been something like grabbing onto a rocketship. That’s why this year we chose to add a distinct category for people who founded some of the more recent corporate entrants into the field. The Digital Entrepreneurs section is a place to find people who impressed us with their digital acumen and put ideas to work building new companies for this new economy. We were a bit strict with this section, trying to reserve it for names that have come on the scene recently where the founder is still at the helm and the company hasn’t been bought up or merged into a bigger entity.
Lastly we added a Hall of Fame for names that have pioneered and set the stage for others to follow. In years ahead we’ll induct more into this section, but this year we start small, and it's worthwhile to check out who made it.
And on each page of the A-List we’ve got social links to help you call attention to your favorite picks (or maybe your own profile) to help spread the word about who the doers and thinkers are behind all the huge numbers in China's digital world.