Asian dotcom companies are suffering from a similar slump in advertising revenues, driving share prices down and casting doubt on projected revenue and profit for the region in 2001.
Analysts predict a slowdown in online advertising this year of 70 per cent from 100 per cent growth last year.
They claim the Asian online advertising sector has some way to go before it catches up with that in the US.
Websites attract only a tiny percentage of total advertising spend - about 0.5 per cent - compared to the two to three per cent in the US.
Analysts said Asia's web industry had to mature and agencies become more creative, currently hindered by slow downloads and less sophisticated bandwidths.
Executive partner at Euro RSCG Interaction's Hong Kong office said: "Every party needs to become more committed and more creative - advertisers, agencies and sites especially."
She added that poor publicity surrounding internet companies and advertising was also starting a vicious cycle: "First time advertisers are being held back by negative publicity."