China On Track to Phase Out Paper Money
China was the first country to introduce paper money in 740 B.C. and now it is believed that China may be the first country to phase it out completely. According to the article on Motherboard (NSFW), “Pretty much every shop, restaurant and bar accepts WeChat and/or Alipay these days,” said Yuhan Xu, a 30 year-old Shanghai-based radio researcher who has used her smartphone to pay for almost all her purchases since early 2016. “Even a small pancake stall does that,” she added. “I don’t need to carry cash.”
Game Revenues in China to Grow From $26 Billion to $35 Billion by 2021
Niko’s most recent publication, the 2017 Digital Games Market Data Report, is a report stating the market size and 5-year forecast of all segments of the digital games market in China, plus summary analysis of gamers and trends in the market. China will enjoy strong growth in digital gamers and games revenue in the next five years, and mobile game usage and revenue (as measured by domestic revenue only, which excludes export revenue) will overtake PC online games by 2018.
We will also begin releasing our five specialized topic reports on China’s PC Online Games, Mobile Games, TV-Based Games, Esports, and VR/AR. Contact us to purchase a report ad-hoc or as part of a customized subscription package.
Ragnarok Online Refresh in the Philippines
Gravity is coordinating with Electronics Extreme to develop new content and refresh Ragnarok Online for the Philippines market, initially kicking off with a Ragna Festival on May 7th. Elite Global Sourcing will publish the game, which will focus on microtransactions instead of a subscription model, and the launch date is currently unknown. Ragnarok Online has been credited with introducing MMOs to many countries around the world and the Philippines is no exception, as RO originally launched there in 2003.
China’s $900 Billion Silk Road Vision
Chinese news outlets have been providing non-stop information this week on President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to bring a “golden age” of globalization. The plan is the largest ever infrastructure project proposed and it will be invested across the globe – China’s goal is to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and the world. This includes pipelines to Pakistan, railways to Russia and more. It was actually launched in September 2013, however, it has been re-branded and most of the early projects have not been implemented yet. Will this initiative connect the growing Russian, Eastern European and Chinese games markets? We will wait and see.
Xiaomi, referred to at times as the Apple of China, has been working hard to revitalize its brand and expand abroad. Xiaomi sales have plummeted in China due to other domestic smartphone makers, like OPPO, Vivo and Huawei taking up more of the market (and foreign brands, like Apple and Samsung, also taking hits). However, Xiaomi has just opened its first Mi Store in India and they are also getting into the chip-making business.