China Unicom to Raise $11.7 Billion from Private Firms

China Unicom is said to be raising $11.7 billion from investors including the likes of Tencent and Alibaba. China Unicom will be the first of the state-run telecom entities to receive private capital and mixed ownership. China Mobile is still the world’s largest mobile phone operator in terms of subscribers.

China Tower Corp, which owns and manages all of the mobile phone towers, has recently announced that it has increased its mobile network tower sharing rate from 14.3% to 73%. China Tower plans to IPO this year. It has only begun to break even as of last year, but they have stated that their profitability is currently weak.

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The Winners of The International 2017

Europe’s Liquid beat China’s Newbee in a 3-0 set in TI7’s final round. On Newbee’s path to the finals, they upset fellow Chinese team LGD.Forever Young. Fans had hoped that Newbee would become the first Dota 2 team to win a second International title after the team won in 2014. The tournament itself reached 5 million peak concurrent viewers – League of Legends is the biggest draw by far, considering they recorded 14.7 million peak concurrent viewers in their World Championship last year. However, Dota 2 offers far bigger prizes as TI17 gave out $24 million to the top teams and the LoL World Championships paid $6.7 million in 2016.

In an odder note, controversial Newbee player Vasilii took to Weibo to talk with his fans and claimed that the biggest obstacle that hurt his performance in TI7 was his sex life. He has claimed that he will follow a path of abstinence, along with other players (like San Shao and Crumbz) who have previously arguing that young pro players juggling relationships and esports at the same time will result in lower performance in tournaments.

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Facebook Launches App in China

The New York Times reported this week that Facebook released a photo sharing app in China similar to Facebook’s Moments, sans Facebook branding. It has not been determined yet if China’s regulators were aware of Facebook’s Colorful Balloons app.

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Bluehole Studio, the Korean developer behind PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), has stated that it has not received a large investment from Tencent. PUBG has been the top-selling game on Steam for several weeks now and there is data from Gameloco, a Twitch viewership tracker, stating that more people are watching PUGB matches than League of Legends matches. We anticipate PUBG to be a big game in China.

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Company Updates

  • Tencent
    • Tencent reported revenues of $8.56 billion (+59% YoY) for the quarter ending June 30th 2017. Net Profit increased 68% YoY to $2.69 billion.
    • Tencent reported mobile game revenues of $2.2 billion, up 54% YoY. The increase was driven by the continued success of Honor of Kings as well as the launch of 5 new titles in the quarter.
    • Tencent reported PC game revenues of $2.0 billion, up 29% YoY. The increase was driven by increased spend across mainstay titles such as League of Legends and DnF.
  • NetEase
    • NetEase reported revenues of $2.0 billion (+49.4% YoY) for the quarter ending June 30th 2017. Net Profit increased 9.2% YoY to $438 million.
    • NetEase reported Online Game revenues of $1.39 billion, up 47% YoY.
    • NetEase reported Mobile Game revenues of $1.0 billion, representing 72.4% of online game revenues.
    • The increase in Online Game revenues was driven by the release of Land of Glory and Treasure Hunter on mobile as well as the continued release of expansions for the company’s legacy PC games.
  • Nexon
    • Nexon reported revenues of $431 million (+23% YoY) for the quarter ending June 30th 2017. Net Profit increased 157% YoY to $178 million.
    • Nexon reported game revenues in China of $188 million, up 33% YoY. The increase was primarily driven by new updates to Dungeon & Fighter which continues to perform well in China. The company was able to increase ARPPU and MAU this quarter compared to the same period last year.
    • Nexon expects to publish DnF 2D for mobile and Maplestory 2 in China this year via Tencent.

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