ChinaNet Online's 28.com Announces New Growth Strategy Focused on Digital Advertising Services

BEIJING, Sept. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET) ("ChinaNet" or the "Company"), a leading B2B (business to business) Internet technology company providing online-to-offline (O2O) sales channel expansion services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial management and networking services for entrepreneurs in the People's Republic of China, announced today that the Company's new growth strategy will focus on offering digital advertising services coupled with a range of consumer analytics expected to add significant value for its small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) customers. The Company is also continuing to build on its analytics offerings, which will make it possible to serve much larger digital advertising clients in the People's Republic of China in 2015 and 2016.

According to Mr. Val Kaplin, a China-based marketing executive, "China outspends every other country in the Asia Pacific region on digital advertising, which in 2013 reached US$13.23 billion, or approximately 11% of worldwide ad spending. Banner ads remain the most popular type of ads, and constitute 30.2% of digital display ads. Keyword search ads are next at 28.5%, which is still behind the US share of 47.1%. Baidu and Taoabao are the largest online advertisers in China by revenue, reporting RMB22.25 billion and RMB17.22 billion respectively, and together represent over half the entire market. The largest spenders on online advertising are Chinese insurance giant Pingan, followed by Volkswagen, P&G and Shanghai GM. The four top sectors for online display ads are transportation, online services, real estate and food & drink."

Based on the Company's new cooperative relationship with Baidu, ChinaNet Online is experiencing an improved sell-through on digital advertising products. Should this trend continue, the Company will be in a position to offer digital advertising services to much larger China-based advertisers.

"We are very excited about our new focus on digital advertising and our cooperation with Baidu. We are also in discussions with Taobao of Alibaba to provide "Micro-Sell 360", which is one of our new product solutions geared towards precision marketing for clients," said George Chu, ChinaNet Online's Chief Operating Officer.

About 28.com

ChinaNet offers 28.com, a web portal that connects SME franchisors with new franchisees, Internet advertising and marketing with other value-added communication channels, brand management & sales solutions, and cloud-based management tools. 28.com is a premier Internet property in the China SME community and the largest merchant marketplace for franchise opportunity seekers in China.

About ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc.

The Company, a parent company of ChinaNet Online Media Group Ltd., incorporated in the BVI ("ChinaNet"), is a leading digital B2B (business to business) Internet technology company focusing on providing RMB sales channel expansion service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial management and networking service for entrepreneurs in China. The Company, through certain contractual arrangements with operating companies in the PRC, provides Internet advertising and other services for Chinese SMEs via its portal websites, 28.com, Liansuo.com and Chuangye.com, TV commercials and program production via China-Net TV, and in-house LCD advertising on banking kiosks targeting Chinese banking patrons. Website: http://www.chinanet-online.com.

Safe Harbor

This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc., which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including business uncertainties relating to government regulation of our industry, market demand, reliance on key personnel, future capital requirements, competition in general and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will be described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on ChinaNet's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting ChinaNet will be those anticipated by ChinaNet. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of the Company) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. ChinaNet undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

CONTACT: MZ North America Ted Haberfield, President Direct: +1-760-755-2716 Email: thaberfield@mzgroup.us Web: www.mzgroup.usSource:ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc.