Beijing Zhongqian Wangrun Information Technology, the operator of ChinaRank, the sole company authorised to create and publish website rankings on the mainland, is bringing more comprehensive internet measurement and analysis services in the world's fastest-growing internet market under a new joint venture with Nielsen Online. The new venture, called CR-Nielsen, has been licensed by the mainland authorities to be the first authorised company to deliver standardised internet measurement services in the country. Financial details of the joint venture were not given. The mainland internet service has started operations, counting leading portals, online publishers and advertising agencies as its charter subscribers. It has released initial findings, including the country's top websites and search engines. 'With more than 250 million internet users, China represents a significant opportunity for our clients, and there has been a loud call to support this expanding market with high-quality, independent online measurement services,' said Itzhak Fisher, an executive chairman at Nielsen Online, a unit of United States-based media conglomerate Nielsen. CR-Nielsen's product portfolio offers a broad range of internet audience and advertising measurement services, including: NetRatings, which uses high-quality samples of internet users and census measurement data; SiteCensus, which provides robust Web analytics technology and tools to individual online publishers; and AdRelevance, which delivers online advertising measurement and analysis. 'Nielsen has set the standard for quality, reliability and innovation in internet measurement and analysis, and we look forward to help clients understand the evolving digital landscape in China - from usage metrics to demographics and search activity to advertising intelligence,' said Zhao Ge, the recently appointed president of CR-Nielsen. The joint venture's offerings build on the privately held Nielsen group's more than 20 years of operations in the country, where it has more than 1,500 staff. It recently launched the Homescan consumer purchase panel on the mainland. It now has 40,000 households. Nielsen Online's partner, ChinaRank, has a team comprising more than 20 experts from the government, domestic internet enterprises and research institutions. Zhongqian Wangrun Information Technology has been running its business in co-operation with the Internet Society of China. 'Our access to high-quality information on internet usage will allow us to better understand our users, resulting in an enhanced experience for them and increased return on investment for advertisers,' said Du Hong, the chief operating officer at Sina Corp, operator of the mainland's largest online portal. HyLink Advertising chief executive Tong Su said: 'High-quality media measurement is a 'must have' to support today's planning requirements and drive continued growth of the internet in China.' According to the China Internet Network Information Centre, there were 253 million internet users on the mainland as of June - putting the country ahead of the United States as the world's biggest internet market.