The dot-com community in China is being hit by layoffs, losses and a more cautious investment environment, even as ad spending in the medium booms in nearby Japan. Leading Chinese portal Renren Media
laid off staff the week of Aug. 14, with the marketing department among those hard hit. Positions were added in the client service and sales departments. Other rivals also have laid off staff in recent weeks. China's three biggest portals--Sina.com, Sohu.com and Netease.com--suffered major losses in the last quarter. And Asia suffered its first big failure when Chinese Books Cyberstore
collapsed last month, even though the Internet is growing rapidly in China. Heavy expenses for content and acquisitions, stiff competition, poor fiscal control, and a lack of serious online ad spending are blamed for the problems. Meanwhile in Japan, Internet advertising is expected to double this year, reaching $463 million. Fees for Internet ads have risen 20% to 50% in the past year. More than 20 million Japanese now access the Internet, while the number of Chinese Internet users nearly doubled to 17 million in the first half of this year.
Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.