Best known as an Android utility app maker, Cheetah Mobile is now focused on global growth for its mobile advertising business. The Beijing-based company announced today that it will launch its advertising platform in India next month.
Cheetah Mobile, which acquired Paris-based ad tech startup MobPartner for $58 million earlier this year, says its advertising platform currently has over 500 clients around the world, including Flipkart, Uber, Amazon, and Booking.com, as well as partnerships with Facebook, Google, and Tencent. It opened a Delhi office, its first in India, in June, and is currently hiring in that city as well as Bangalore.
One of Cheetah Mobile’s main ad-tech rivals in India is InMobi, but Cheetah Ad Platform plans to differentiate with its big data analytic tools, which draws on information collected from its 494 million users.
“As our apps (i.e. Clean Master) have the ability to analyze app usage without invading privacy, our ability to help advertisers target the right group of customers is very strong,” said Sheng Fu, Cheetah Mobile’s CEO, in a statement to TechCrunch.
A spinoff of Kingsoft, Cheetah Mobile held its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2014 and is best known for apps like Clean Master and Battery Doctor.
While more than half of its monthly active users come from outside of China (with India accounting for nine percent), the expansion of Cheetah Mobile’s ad platform into India not only gives it an additional buffer against its home country’s current economic woes, but also lets it tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing Internet markets.
According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and research firm IMRB International, India’s online advertising market is expected to grow 30 percent this year to 35.75 billion rupees (about $541 million).
Smartphone penetration is still very low at just 10 percent, but expected to increase dramatically thanks to the proliferation of inexpensive Android devices. By 2018, more than one in five Indians is expected to own a smartphone, giving Cheetah Mobile a promising growth opportunity.
Cheetah Mobile’s own research found that Indian smartphone owners are the most avid app users in Asia, with the average person opening 16.35 apps each day.
In addition to India, Cheetah Mobile also plans to expand its ad platform in the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Taiwan, Russia, and Brazil.