20 Aug 2009 14:05

Chinese Internet users reject pay-to-play functions on SNS sites

Shanghai. August 20. INTERFAX-CHINA - Chinese Internet users are turning up their noses at pay-to-play functions despite a growing number of social networking service (SNS) sites trialing them, an industry analyst said on Aug. 20.

A number of sites, including China's most popular SNS site Kaixin001.com, have begun implementing trial fees ranging from RMB 1 ($0.15) to RMB 10 (1.46) for certain games, features and applications.

Such pay-to-play trials have almost immediately been rejected Chinese Internet users. According to a Kaixin001.com survey, over 80 percent of 5,580 survey participants said they would give up using any features or playing any games for which they would be required to pay for.

Jin Naili, an industry analyst with iResearch, told Interfax that although the fees are affordable to most Chinese Internet users, the majority just are not willing to pay to play.

"Most Chinese Internet users are unwilling to pay any fees higher than RMB 10 ($1.46) per month and some of them aren't prepared to pay at all for functions on SNS sites. As such, revenues generated from such fucntions will not make a substantial contribution to total revenues of SNS sites," Jin said.

Advertising will continue to be the most effective way for SNS sites to generate profits, which translates into maintaining a large and stable user base to attract advertisers, according to Jin.