What's new in business news: October 7, 2013

Half of Thais now on internet, Volleyball triumph attracts brands & motorcycle sales fall with economic downturn.

Thailand’s Pleumjit Thinkaow (left) and Onuma Sittirak (right) try to block against Japan in the final of the 2013 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship. THANARAK KHOONTON


Volleyball triumph attracts brands

Women's volleyball is joining football as an important marketing tool used to promote products.  Thailand's victory over Japan in the 2013 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship final last month recorded a very high TV rating of 26.4, higher than hit soap operas such as Rang Ngao at 14.3 and Khun Chai Ratchanont at 15.1. 

Thai AirAsia (TAA) recently became an official sponsor for the national team to build its brand regionally and TrueVisions has acquired broadcast rights for every volleyball competition through terrestrial-TV, pay-TV and online platforms, adding to the sports it already offers: tennis, Thai Premier League, badminton and golf. The largest viewing group for women's volleyball is male viewers aged 20 in urban areas at 37.4%, followed by men aged 20-49 at 31.1%. 

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Half of Thais now on the internet


The number of internet users in Thailand will reach 35 million this year or half the population which marks an increase from 26.5 million users or 37.9% of the population last year and 9 million 12.9% of the population in 2011. While the penetration rate for fixed-line internet remains low at 10% of the population, the penetration rate for mobile devices is 136%.

The availability of third-generation (3G) commercial service, cheaper smart devices, a greater variety of mobile applications and free public WiFi have all contributed to the rise in internet users.  Currently there are 140,000 free WiFi access points in 30,000 locations and there are plans to add a further 150,000 access points next year to expand free WiFi coverage in order to narrow the digital divide.

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Motorcycle sales fall with economic downturn

Purchasing power has become weaker than expected in light of the current economic slowdown, leading to overall motorcycle sales of only 2 million vehicles this year from the previous forecast of 2.2 million and against 2.15 million last year. Domestic consumption is not as high as last year.

A new excise tax structure for motorcycles, aimed mainly at controlling the high-engine motorcycle market, took effect in January. Engines below 150cc are now taxed at 3%, with rates rising to 5% for 151-500cc, 10% for 500 to 1,000cc and 20% for higher than 1,000cc.

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About the author

Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer