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China's Internet firms eye inflight business at airshow

Xinhua, November 13, 2014 Adjust font size:

Networks, airlines and web content services scrambled to unite as China's Internet gets set to take flight.

More than 30 leading Chinese Internet companies including the Information Center of Xinhua News Agency, ZTE, China UnionPay,, and Youku Tudou Inc. joined forces to set up the "Inflight Internet Industry Alliance" at the Airshow China 2014 currently being held in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

China airline Internet service began in late July with a Wifi test run on China Eastern Airlines flight MU5101 from Beijing to Shanghai.

With annual civil air transport numbers reaching 360 million people, the average flight time in China is about 2.5 hours, 900 million hours of domestic flight per year.

The huge market potential has Internet-based companies in media, e-commerce, education and communications services brainstorming the best methods to woo customers mid-flight.

Li Jie, president of Youku Tudou Inc., China's leading online video company listed on NASDAQ, said now is the prime time for their company to enter the in-air entertainment business.

"In the future, the company may buy copyrights of hit movies and shows to provide charged service for inflight passengers," said Li at the air show.

Zhu Yongqiang, vice president of China Galaxy Securities, said his company has cooperated with airlines to launch an inflight securities trading service, which can help Galaxy find high-quality customers.

Galaxy is not the only one seeking to targeting high-end customers during flights. Several Internet firms are making efforts to court customers while flying.

During travel, passengers are more likely to make impulse buys, says Ma Jianrong, vice president of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce firm

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