China’s state-run television network CCTV sold US$2.55 billion (RMB15.9 billion) in ad time for 2013, an 11% increase from last year, indicating that marketers are confident in the country’s economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The increase in ad revenue, generated at a yearly auction held on Sunday, was higher than expected in view of the weakening economy. Industry experts predicted an 8-10% increase, said Zhou Wei, a chief financial officer at ad firm Charm Communications. The figures compare with a 13% increase in 2012 over 2011. Confidence in the economy is strong among financial companies and alcohol makers, with the liquor companies among the strongest bidders by market share, Zhou said. A regulatory crack down on prime-time entertainment shows on satellite channels that compete with CCTV may have helped spur demand for CCTV ad space.