E3 2014

As we watch the news unfold from E3 this week, it’s worth noting a few updates on the console front globally and in China – for the first time ever, Sony has overtaken Nintendo on the total number of game consoles sold within the span of a year. Sony sold 18.7 million consoles last year, whereas Nintendo sold 16.3 million. In regards to the Xbox One, Microsoft announced this week that it will launch in Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Taiwan on September 23rd of this year for varying price points over $500 USD.

There have yet to be further announcements regarding the planned launches of both products in mainland China later this year. We will offer more commentary once E3 wraps up.

China Mobile Takes Stake in True Corp

China Mobile invested in Thailand’s True Corp with a private placement investment equal to roughly 18% of True’s total shares. True Corp is a telecom conglomerate and China Mobile is likely mainly interested in the TrueMove subsidiary, which is a mobile operator. However True Corp also owns 60% of NC TRUE, a leading Thai online games operator owned in a JV with NC Soft of Korea.

MIIT Launches Anti-Malware Campaign

Chinese regulators have turned their attention more toward focusing on the mobile game industry. MIIT has just launched an app store anti-malware campaign that requires the Telecommunications Administration Bureau to check apps for malware (like apps that eavesdrop on calls, steal private information, or charge malicious fees). App stores themselves must keep a running list of all malware apps discovered and create their own blacklist management systems, which they’re encouraged to share with other app stores in order to keep malware out across the board. We look forward to seeing how this goes.

Smartphone Usage Across China

Umeng, the Beijing-based mobile analytics firm, just released a report comparing smartphone usage in China’s first, second, and third-tier cities, according to Tech in Asia. Using data collected from over 230,000 apps on Android and iOS over a three-month period, the company looked for trends and discrepancies between the nation’s biggest metropolises and its smaller urban hubs.