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Affiliate Marketing in Asia – a trillion dollar opportunity up for grasp! (Are YOU Ready?)

In this version of the article, we’ll be discussing about the topic of affiliate marketing (commonly known as performance marketing) in Asia.

First of all, let’s discuss about the brief history about affiliate marketing & THE recent industry updates,

The affiliate “business model” in U.S. & Europe had already set a strong & profound presence in their business “atmosphere” with the first affiliate program launched by Amazon during 1996 known as (Amazon Associates Program) & the first affiliate network being introduced during year 1998. (that’s a whopping 20 years period since its inception!)

Recent studies has shown that affiliate marketing in U.S. alone itself is WORTH 6.8 Billion USD over the next 5 years. Whereas the United Kingdom’s market alone is worth 1.6 Billion USD!

Meanwhile, let’s get back to the Asian “scene”, the E-Commerce sector in Asia has contributed to the growth of affiliate marketing in the Asia Pacific (especially the South East Asia Region).

There are approximate 1.9 billion internet users in Asia Pacific region alone (more than the US & Europe internet users combined).

Recent studies has also shown that, there are signs of advertisers in the Asia Pacific region are expected to spend an estimated figure of 19 Billion USD on PPC (Pay Per Click) searches for year 2018!

Bonus Fact: over 53% of the population in Asia speaks English proficiently according to the “English Proficiency Index” & most of them are active internet users too.

So what’s the opportunity here?

The rise of “rock star” companies such as the AliBaba Group in China & Asia. BATX (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent & Xiaomi), the new “big 4 tech companies” in China is rapidly affecting the entire face of tech business & online commerce within Asia.

It has also become one of the “lubricant” for the growth of affiliate marketing sector within Asia too. More Asian companies & brands are EMPHASISING on the affiliate marketing channel, to boost their company’s revenue.

According to recent reliable sources, E-Commerce sales in APAC region has been blooming like “mad”! E-commerce sale grew from 35.1% in 2017 to 1.349 Trillion USD (those are really some “stunning” figures).

Increment in the usage of mobile device with internet connection has also assisted in the growth of the market capitalisation within these nations.

Higher internet users penetration rate=larger market possibilities for both advertisers & publishers (and online businesses such as the online commerce sector).

E-Commerce in Asia is still considered as a relatively new market & is constantly evolving to rival those in the American & European market. Studies have also shown that “the Asian market” is still considered as a huge untapped gold mine despite the fact that there wasn’t large amount of affiliate marketing activities happening within the region in the past 10 years.

Apart from that, let’s not set a side the MEGA potential for the rising market of the century, which is the SEA region (South East Asia), with combined nominal annual GDP value reaching 2.557 Trillion USD (SEA region has come a long way to achieve these figures & they’re currently fully opened for Global Commerce).

With that said, there’s a vast potential growth for Affiliate Marketing within the region.

One of the major “fuel” towards the rapid growth of Asia & South East Asia’s market has indirect link with the language being used. Language always plays an important role in globalisation & we shall always look into if an individual / company wants to go GLOBAL.

English language is widely used in these regions & the proficiency of these regions has definitely been increasing during recent years. One good example for the “uniformity” of Language could be witness in countries like Singapore, whereby, they have adapted English in the country’s education system & dubbed it as the official language of the country (Mandarin is their official secondary language in the commerce world).

In other words, an “English language based affiliate marketing learning platform” plays an important role for bringing your “online business” global, English speaking affiliate marketers are able to get the chance to enter into the “game” by learning & marketing in a single medium while deciding to forward into markets that speaks languages apart from English.

This is the key towards beginning the “earning” journey prior to tapping into the “Asia Online Commerce Gold Rush“.

Be prepared for cultural diversification (as we dive deeper into the Asian world)

Brands & agencies often overlook that Asia is the most complex region for digital commerce (hardest in terms of market penetration). However, there are still ways to tackle with the issue mentioned, affiliate marketers have to understand the unique ecosystem within the Asian country that the marketer is targeting (before launching any Pay Per Click / Cost Per Action campaign).

Research & business case studies are needed in order to formulate whether it’s worth the time & resources spent. Apart from that, there are certain “pitfalls” whereby every affiliate marketer has to avoid & possibly turning these pitfalls into “opportunities” to grow your affiliate marketing business.


Avoid “turn on” activity in the region & just focusing on population figures, focus on having a local strategy is considered more important here.

Without any local strategy in place, the outcome produced will often lead to poor results (it doesn’t resonate with the locals for the targeted Asian country).

One of the “strategy” that we could harness here is, translation for your content that you’re marketing. We could also get creative SEO content writers from online freelance marketplace such as Fiverr & Upwork to boost your content’s presence within the specific country.


Another example that tends to occur is the “high context cultures” scenario happening in the South East Asia region (South East Asia region rely on nonverbal cues & implicit communication).

Then again, the affiliate marketers can resolve the issue by working with a freelancer from the targeted market. (someone who speaks their local language / translator)


Another great example is the “culture shock” for the business world between the east & the west, in the western business world, trust is automatically given unless “significant” action is taken to break the trust.

Whereas, in the eastern business world, a person has to gain trust “first” in order to proceed with business deals plus meeting a person in advance can boost the trust before a deal is being made.

Therefore, meeting person and building interpersonal relationships is highly crucial while meeting with partner outside of a professional setting. Investing time and effort to understand goals definitely strengthens the relationship & provide some extra added value.

Coping with regional fragmentation

As mentioned earlier on, affiliate marketers who are deciding to “set base” in the Asian affiliate marketing industry has to deal with a couple of issues such as searching for appropriate affiliate channels in Asia & tools to start with.

Uniformity is still the “key” here, with that said, a standardized medium learning platform (with standardized communication language, up-to-date materials & vital tools) is still the key here.

We couldn’t stress the importance for any affiliate marketers especially those just getting started absolutely have to apply the learn before you earn strategy, before advancing into the Asian market. Sometimes getting it right is worth it from an approach & revenue perspective 😉

We’ve compiled several key markets in the market that any affiliate marketer can look into. Take note that, all the countries shown in the infographics are actually “English-speaking” Asian countries with “high proficiency index”.

You can have a better understanding about EPI here.

Number of internet users in Hong Kong

There are approximate 3.4 million “English-speaking” population in the country.

It’s absolutely a great market to explore into since E-Commerce within the region is HUGE due to influence from E-Commerce Giants from China like &, Hong Kong used to be a country colonized by the British before achieving its independence, therefore there are a lot of Hong Kong-ers who can speak some decent English 🙂

Number of internet users in India

There’s approximate 125 million English Speakers from the country, and the number is only going to increase EXPONENTIALLY since the nation is aware about the importance of the English language to assist the entire country in the conquest for going GLOBAL.

Most Indians rely heavily on usage of search engines & social media on a daily basis, with Google dominating the game in the country, according to reliable recent studies.

Number of internet users in Singapore

Although the number of English speakers in Singapore is relatively lower compared to countries like India & Hong Kong, but Singapore has one of the highest GDP per capita within the Asian region (just lacking behind U.S.), therefore their spending power & their priority towards online shopping trend exists as always. (another leading E-Commerce giant within the South East Asia region played an important role in driving the E-Commerce figures within the country & the whole of SEA.

You might be able to get some English-speaking local partners to assist you for your affiliate business too, since Singaporeans is ranked as one of the top countries worldwide for English Proficiency Index, currently at #6(as of 2018).

Way ahead most of the Asian nations & some English-speaking European nations too!

What’s next for the advertisers & publishers?…

Publishers(a.k.a affiliate marketers) & advertisers (brands / companies) are encouraged to FOCUS heavily on the Asia Pacific instead of the usual practice of focusing their advertising budgets & efforts on the U.S. market & European markets.

One thing for sure, advertisers & publishers have to do self assessment at all times for their respective branding. Getting YOUR brand ready for the highly diversified Asian Market.

Do sufficient research & prerequisite groundwork to avoid unnecessary mistakes & harmful acts against your business development within the region.

Referring to the above mentioned important of focusing on a SINGLE language initially is absolutely “crucial” for starters in the affiliate marketing world (even for advanced performance marketers too), this leads to increase productivity in creating results for launching campaigns within the region (unless you’re a bilingual / multilingual marketer with sufficient understanding about a specific country / Asian region).

Focusing on core markets with trending growth & consumer engagement in E-Commerce is another important FACTOR as well.

Recent surveys by leading affiliate marketing news resources reported that there’s a tremendous amount of money spent on DISPLAY NETWORK ads alone such as Google Adsense & Mediavine (leading online advertising networks) or leading E-commerce affiliate program such as those offered by (highly acclaimed E-Commerce giant in SEA)

All in all, search engine optimization definitely plays an important role in boosting your website’s lead generation & conversion even if we’re targeting on the less competitive region in Asia.

Chances of capturing large amount of leads & conversion for your affiliate offers is definitely achievable by mastering the SEO skill (which typically costs you about thousands of dollars, without including the cost of refining your website for better content marketing purposes).

Understand more about search engine optimization via our #1 recommended affiliates training ground here.

Dear loyal readers, stay tune for our next article about the recent development of the affiliate marketing industry within the “heart of Asia”. Bye for now.

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