Valve’s Steam entertainment distribution service has gained popularity in China over the past few years. China already ranks 6th worldwide for the number of games owned. The US share of Steam games usage is 18.1%, and China’s is 4.0%, according to SteamSpy. SteamSpy lists DotA 2 as the leading game in China.
App Annie released data on the global app market report in Q1 2015. The report shows that in Q1, China’s iOS download exceeded US (probably because the sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pushed the downloads). Globally, China’s Google Play downloads are 70% greater than downloads via the App Store (and Indonesia is one of the leading growth markets for Google Play downloads). China ranks #1 for iOS downloads and #3 for iOS revenue in Q1 2015. However, iOS still received 70% more revenue than Android. In 2014, the shipment of smartphones with 5-7 inches screen accounts for 60% of total smartphone shipment in China, while its shipment percentage in other countries (including US) is only about 40%.
Xinhuanet published a few articles regarding the newly approved additional free trade zones. The exact implications for the games industry have yet to be announced. Here is the combined, abridged text of two of the articles:
BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) — China released more details for regarding pilot free trade zones (FTZ) in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian as well as plans to further reform and open up the Shanghai FTZ on Monday. At the end of 2014, Tianjin, eastern Fujian province and Guangdong were selected to be part of the second batch of free trade zones, inheriting practices already proved successful in Shanghai and tapping their unique geographical and industrial advantages for further experiments.
Authorities also expanded the Shanghai FTZ to include the city’s financial district Lujiazui, where a jungle of skyscrapers houses the country’s securities exchanges and leading financial institutions from home and abroad. The inclusion of Lujiazui is seen as bringing more financial institutions into the game to test how the county’s financial sector handles loosening capital controls and a freely convertible yuan.
Before regional delegates flocked to Beijing this month for the country’s annual parliamentary sessions, local governments in landlocked Shaanxi, Gansu and Henan also unveiled their ambitions to apply for free trade zones at provincial lawmaking sessions. These announcements have once again fueled speculation that more FTZs will come along, though the central government has not openly endorsed such proposals.
Indonesia becomes the second country in Asia to participate in “Internet.org” – Facebook’s free Internet access program. This program is expected to increase Indonesians’ awareness and access to the Internet. The free services are available on local carrier PT Indosat Tbk, according to a post by Mark Zuckerberg. The goal is to expand free Internet access, applications and content by Facebook to people in rural areas.