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Net Security in the New-Internet Era

What do condoms have to do with China’s burgeoning mobile internet ecosystem?

As the net in China reaches its adolescence, users there are beginning, for the first time to worry about the security of their surfing. The market for security software and virus protection is blossoming in pace. So too is the market for condoms, another form of protection, according to Aditya Sehgal, Senior VP at Reckitt Benckisser, manufacturer of Durex condoms.

Sehgal was talking during a panel discussion on mobile net security with Joshua Maa, founder and CEO of MadHouse Inc., China’s largest mobile ad network, and Fu Sheng, the CEO of China’s Kingsoft Internet Security Software.

The discussion focused on the importance of marketing that tugs at users’ heartstrings instead of appealing to their rational senses and the urgent need for effective antivirus software on the Chinese internet.

“Our mission is to improve the sex lives of the Chinese people,” Seghal said, spelling out the ways in which Durex condoms are marketed in China. “It’s about people, about selling ideas, services, and dreams.”

As consumers’ discretionary income rises, they have gravitated away from necessities and now focus on “wants.” This shift has caused consumers to justify their purchases by putting them in a frame of reference.  “Buy, and then rationalize,” he called it.

“Do I need the new I-phone?” He asked, as an example, “No, but I want it.”

In a similar vein, Fu Sheng said that as China’s net econsystem becomes more advanced, with more than 500 million internet users, the average Chinese person is beginning to understand the risks of Malware, viruses, and other net security issues.

As the security software market expands, the competition heats up, and firms like Kingsoft and Qihoo, leaders in the Chinese anti-virus market, must use the same methods as Durex uses when it appeals to users.

“Connecting to our users, giving them added value, and helping them understand the security risks they face is our end goal,” Fu said.

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