Nielsen Online partners with Chinese Web firm

CR-Nielsen to measure Internet usage in China

NEW YORK - Nielsen Online said Friday it has partnered with the parent of a leading Chinese Web ranking firm to deliver Internet measurement, research and analysis services from one of the world's fastest growing online marketplaces.

"With more than 250 million Internet users, China represents a significant opportunity for our clients, and there has been a loud call to support this expanding market with high-quality, independent online measurement services," Itzhak Fisher, executive chairman, Nielsen Online, said in a statement.

Nielsen Online has formed CR-Nielsen in joint venture with Beijing Zhongqian Wangrun Information Technology Co, operator of ChinaRank, which Nielsen called "the only Internet measurement firm licensed to create and publish Web site rankings in China."

The Nielsen Co, headed by former GE executive David Calhoun, has for 25 years monitored the behavior of more than 40,000 Chinese households on and offline. The company's 1,500 employees in China helped organizers track television viewing of the Beijing Olympics.

China's Internet users totaled 253 million at the end of June, outnumbering those in the United States, data from the government-run China Internet Network Information Center shows.

U.S. online commerce still far outstrips commercial Web activity in China, according to Beijing-based media consultancy BDA.

Ms. Ge Zhao was named president of CR-Nielsen. In the first sample of the Web data it plans to release publicly, the joint venture ranked China's top 10 Web sites from Sept. 8-14, putting search engine Baidu No. 1 with 171 million unique browsers.

S. Y. Lau, evp of Tencent Computer Systems Co, which operates of the No. 2 ranked site, QQ -- a leading IM and portal service -- said that CR-Nielsen would help business.

"Reliable Internet measurement will allow us to better target our sales and marketing efforts, monetize our audience and understand the competitive landscape," Lau said in the statement from Nielsen.

CR-Nielsen also ranked China's top 10 search, finance and video sharing Web sites. The top search site was Baidu, the top finance site Hexun, with 22 million unique browsers in the same second week of September, while the top video sharing site was Youku with 47 million users.

Nielsen is the owner of The Hollywood Reporter.