The Interactive Advertising Bureau is adding China to the global IAB network. The new group will help build industry standards in the country with the world's biggest online population – 618 million.
The industry body licensed a partner, the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China, to establish IAB China. The new group will become the world's 42nd licensed IAB after a South African chapter was launched this month.
The new body will help New York-based IAB spread its technical standards on video and mobile rich media in China. Meanwhile, the IAB stands to benefit from China's mobile savvy in a country where 3 out of 4 first-time internet users go online with a cellphone.
"We will learn from them and they will learn from us, about our standards, best practices, guidelines and our historical way of coming at thought leadership," said David Doty, executive VP and chief marketing officer of the IAB.
China has 500 million mobile internet users out of the total online population of 618 million, according to the official China Internet Network Information Center. There's room for internet growth in China too – only 46% of the population is online.
Meanwhile, the online ad industry is growing fast. GroupM put the country's 2013 internet ad spending at around $16.7 billion, up 36% from the previous year.
IAB China will group digital publishers, marketers, agencies and internet companies with China offices. The IAB's standards and guidelines are developed by its members and are available to anyone worldwide to adopt and adapt.
The IAB recently worked with the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China, or IIACC, on a study about the role of mobile in the lives of Chinese and American consumers.
The research, released last year, showed that owning a smartphone is much more likely to affect Chinese consumers' media diet, decreasing their TV viewership and reading of print publications.
In general, China consumers are big on using smartphones to watch videos. Mobile commerce is taking off fast, and China's hottest social platform, WeChat or Weixin, is exclusively mobile.
The IIACC secretary general, Chen Yong, who will head the IAB China group, also oversees Modern Advertising magazine, Ad Age's partner in China. The IAB's new China presence was announced Monday during the IAB's annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Ca.