Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent set to dominate programmatic ad spend in China for the foreseeable future

Programmatic digital display adspend in China will reach $29.61bn, representing 69.0% of total digital display adspend by 2019.

Chinese Internet giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) will account for the lion share of programmatic expenditures in China as advertisers are predicted to invest $22.81 billion on programmatic digital display ads this year in the Asian country, with mobile accounting for 83.7% of that total.

This is according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of programmatic ad spending, which also found that by the end of 2019, programmatic digital display ad spending in China will reach $29.61bn, representing 69.0% of total digital display ad spending in the country.

The forecast also predicts that because of the high smartphone penetration in China, mobile will continue to be a major growth driver of programmatic spend.

“eMarketer raised its estimates on programmatic ad spend in China, thanks to the growing influence of the BAT companies,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“While over 60% of digital advertising spend already goes to BAT, their influence on the programmatic market is even more dramatic. Despite the relatively sophisticated ad buying technology on the BAT platforms, the players outside the big three remain few and undeveloped. China's programmatic market still remains behind the US and the UK as BAT's outsized influence stymies the growth of a competitive ad tech ecosystem."

BAT will also collect a combined share of 64.1% of digital ad expenditure in China by 2021 with Alibaba securing more than 35%, followed by Baidu with 18.4% and Tencent with a 10.4% share, according to eMarketer’s previous forecast.

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