Virtual Reality in 2016
Gamelook reported that roughly RMB 1 billion ($153 million) has been invested in 29 Chinese virtual reality companies so far, and the article lists the 29 companies. Virtual reality is on trend this year for gaming and other uses, and Chinese companies are entering the global competition.
NetEase’s Pipeline of Games
NetEase Inc., recipient of a recent nod at the top of the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 stocks list, announced its 2016 game pipeline. NetEase has seen huge success in recent months from the mobile version of its long-standing hit franchise, Fantasy Westward Journey, and the company continues to build its mobile games portfolio. NetEase says that it will release 26 new titles for mobile and PC, including 14 RPG and Action-RPG titles. Many of these will be developed in-house, though they will license some select titles.
Broadband Costs Fall in China
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT) announced that as of October 2015 the average fees for broadband and mobile data in China have fallen by over 50% and 39% respectively since their peaks, enabling the government to meet its annual goal to “speed up the Internet and reduce fees.” Additionally, the number of 4G mobile users is estimated to exceed 380 million, and the number of users of IPTV is now more than 45 million.
China’s 13th Five-Year Plan
According to the English version of Chinese news site People’s Daily Online, 2016 is the first year of China’s Thirteenth Five-Year Plan. The plan will be announced at the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress, which will convene from March 5th.
Box Office Growth in China
The U.S. box office movie ticket sales hit a record $11 billion in 2015, but to put it in perspective the value of China’s digital games markets (PC online games, mobile games, and console games) was on track to come in twice as high at $22 billion. The Chinese box office sales hit nearly $7 billion, which was an increase of 48.7% over 2014. The population of gamers in China is not quite twice the population of citizens in the United States, but it is getting close.
Updates from Sinocism
And here are two articles picked up by our friends at Sinocism:
China To Implement Chinese Card For Malaysian-Born Chinese increasing efforts to bind to motherland
China plans to implement a “Chinese Card” for overseas born Chinese including those from South East Asia. South East Asia has the world largest overseas born Chinese. This is going to draw millions Chinese in South East Asia especially those from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, India, Mauritius, Vietnam migrate back to China.
What’s Old is New Again: Predictions for Southeast Asia 2016 – East by Southeast
As the Philippines and Vietnam rely more heavily on the US for security guarantees in the South China Sea, more US flyovers and naval patrols in the contested waters are to be expected. Look for the US Navy to begin to use Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay for “maintenance” purposes and to park its ships on a somewhat permanent basis in the Philippines’ Subic Bay after joint military exercises finish in April 2016. Conversely, look for the emerging Sino-Thai regional axis to be solidified in 2016. This relationship, despite not bringing much to the languishing Thai economy, will tighten the ruling junta’s grip on power. Thailand’s long drift towards authoritarianism will add further strains on ties with the US, its long-term external security power.
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