China bans fundraising through ICOs
China has banned and made illegal the practice of raising funds through digital token based initial coin offerings (ICO). The rise of cryptocurrencies has led to $2.2 billion having been raised through ICOs this year alone. Chinese regulators have described initial coin offerings as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing” that “raises suspicions” of fraud and criminal activity. The move is expected to curb risks from the unregulated ICO market. According to our friends at Sinocism: “The markets misinterpreted the ban as a broader regulatory attack on cryptocurrencies. It is more about the ongoing crackdown in China against financial fraud and illegal fundraising.” Cryptocurrencies fell in value as result of the announcement, but this is not a ban of cryptocurrencies.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive launches September 15th in China
Perfect World will launch Chinese servers for Valve’s Counter Strike: GO on September 15th 2017, five years after the game came out in the West. The Chinese version of the game is free to play for Chinese users, unlike in the West where the game is buy to play. The Chinese version supports anti cheat software, 128 tick servers and the new Source 2 engine. Perfect World are pushing Counter Strike Esports in China with the establishment of a national league and regional league. Note that the international version of CS:GO has been available and very popular in China already via Steam.
Apple now accepts WeChat Pay on the App Store
Apple has begun accepting WeChat Pay for payments made in the iOS App Store this month. WeChat Pay joins AliPay as one of the few accepted payment methods on the iOS store in China. The move comes after Apple Pay failed to take off in China whilst AliPay and WeChat Pay took more than 90% of mobile payment method marketshare. The move is expected to boost Apple’s revenues from in store spending due to how convenient WeChat Pay is for Chinese consumers. Tencent’s WeChat now has over 963 million users.
Minecraft will launch on iOS & Android in China on September 15th
NetEase has announced that it will launch Minecraft on iOS & Android on September 15th in China. NetEase partnered with Mojang to bring the world’s most popular sandbox game to China this year. The mobile version of the game will have interoperability with the PC version that launched in July 2017. The game will utilize a free to play model unlike in the West where the game is buy to play. NetEase plans to sell add on content to monetize the game in China.
New study shows why Honor of Kings is so successful
A new study released by Tian Feng, a 38-year-old academic at the Chinese Academy of Social, found that the game’s success was mainly due to how it took advantage of players’ existing relationships and social connections. The game pits teams of five against each other and this leads to many players choosing real life friends as teammates. Tencent has taken advantage of this by implementing multiple social features in the game to make it easier to play with friends. Gamers join their friends in game due to fear of missing out, this is one of the main reasons the game has become so successful in China.
Side note: We wrote an article in Forbes 2 years ago about why Clash of Clans was so successful in China. Spoiler alert: it’s because of the social connections of real world friends and family playing in clans together.