While BT makes a full court press on Yell’s Yellow Pages business in the U.K., 5,000 miles east China Netcom plans to enter the southern China Yellow Pages market.
The whole Yellow Pages market in China is estimated by China Unicom to be worth 4 billon yuan (US$480 million).
China Netcom plans to launch a new China Netcom Yellow Pages in 2005 to compete against "incumbent" publisher China Telecom. What is remarkable is that more Yellow Pages revenue is generated in Northern California than throughout China – with its 1.6 billion inhabitants. One cannot help but wonder what the migration path from print to online Yellow Pages will look like in China as industrial development continues at a rapid pace. Will the pace of industrial development be so fast that it is impossible for the print Yellow Pages model to stay ahead of the market or will online and wireless Yellow Pages be real pony to ride?