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Foreign social networking sites are effective channels for Chinese companies to reach overseas shoppers. Although Facebook is still inaccessible in mainland China, the company is gradually building a presence here. It has set up an office in Beijing to sell ads to Chinese companies, helping them to establish their brands abroad.

VKontakte (VK), the top social networking site in Russian-speaking countries, likewise has its eye on attracting Chinese advertisers to its platform. The company announced Tuesday the opening of its marketing branch in Beijing and the cooperation with Chinese mobile app marketing service YeahMobi.

As Russia’s answer to Facebook, the St Petersburg-based company has registered more than 250 million users and has over 100 million daily active users. Some 67% of users are in Russia, the rest coming from other Russian-speaking eastern European countries. The site is now available in 44 languages.

In addition to its comprehensive ad promotion platform launched a year ago, VK has also added a “Group Ad” feature which allows advertisers to display ads and to interact with audiences directly. The social network also offers technical support to Chinese app developers, helping them to localize their services.

Chinese e-commerce and gaming companies might well find opportunities in Russian market. Russia’s 70 million netizens spent a total of US$10 billion online in 2013, though there aren’t  e-commerce juggernauts like Alibaba dominating the local market as yet. The market share of all the local e-commerce services is below 4%.

Social networking and casual games are the most popular categories among the 41.7 million Russian gamers (expected to reach 50 million by the end of 2014). Some 58% of Russian players are willing to make in-game payments and the average revenue per user of the mobile gaming market is US$28.

image credit: Shutterstock

 

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)