NetEase Taps DoubleClick for DART Deal in China

Chinese portal and Internet technology firm NetEase.com will be partnering with DoubleClick to utilize the ad serving giant’s ad-targeting technology, in another deal that bolsters the tech side of the ad company’s business.

Under the terms of this agreement, Beijing-based NetEase will use DoubleClick’s DART technology as its exclusive ad management solution, to enable advertisers on NetEase’s Web sites to more accurately target potential customers in the China market.

“Internet advertising in China is currently in its infancy, rendering a huge potential for growth,” said DoubleClick chief executive officer Kevin Ryan. “Since DoubleClick’s entry into the China market six months ago, we have signed agreements with more than 20 Internet companies, a clear sign of the online advertising market’s rapid development.”

While many see the Asian advertising market having long-term potential, some analysts and industry watchers are leery of the sector’s near-term prospects. Merrill Lynch last week downgraded NetEase and portal Sohu.com on ad revenue concerns, and many NASDAQ-traded players in the Asian ad-supported content space are lingering near their 52-week lows.

Nevertheless, New York-based DoubleClick is heavily invested in the area, operating a technology and media practice in the Asia-Pacific region and a data center in Beijing. The firm’s major clients in China besides NetEase include Sina.com, Sohu, Alibaba, eTang and Kimo.

“DoubleClick’s DART technology provides NetEase with a world-class advertising management platform, allowing us to better serve our advertising customers’ needs in this rapidly developing market,” said King Lai, CEO of NetEase. “Because of this new partnership, we are able to offer advertisers a platform to better target and profile users on NetEase’s communications network.”

Interestingly, NetEase is also rumored to be in acquisition or investment talks with pan-Asian Internet conglomerate chinadotcom, which owns a large portion of ad network 24/7 Media’s Asian operations. NetEase has publicly declined to discuss any specifics of talks with possible suitors or investors.

At press time, shares of DCLK were trading up 2.87 percent, at $15.69. Shares of NTES were up 6.25 percent, at $2.13.

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