The world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Rama IX of the Chakri dynasty, passed away this week at the age of 88. There will be at least 15 official days of mourning before succession can take place and then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn will ascend to the throne. Currently a 96-year-old former army chief and prime minister, Prem Tinsulanonda, is serving as the country’s regent. Since 1932, when the absolute monarchy was abolished, Thailand has had 25 general elections and 19 coups, 12 of them having been successful. King Bhumibol served as a symbol of unity during these many power struggles and it remains to be seen how the country will be impacted by this tremendous loss.
In Vietnam, online digital gaming is very important for social interaction and entertainment. People enjoy mobile games and online games, and internet cafés are a primary location for hardcore gamers to play in a social setting. Vietnam is home to roughly 25 million online gamers, 39 million mobile gamers and has a 54% internet penetration rate. And there is one facet of online gaming that is especially driving demand and usage of competitive online games: eSports. To read more about this trend, check out our latest article on Forbes.
South Korea’s Nexon has acquired a 49% stake in i Digital Connect Co, a digital games publisher in Thailand. iDCC currently operates Blast Breaker Online, Dragon’s Prophet, 12 Tails Online, TS3 Saga, DK Online and Drakensang. To learn more about what some of the most popular games are in Thailand, along with other markets in Southeast Asia, keep an eye out for our annual Southeast Asian Digital Games Market Report.
In September China’s Ministry of Education named eSports as a new viable major available for college students. The Hunan Sports Vocational College will now begin to offer an e-sports class for 40 students in the fall of 2017. According to the Nanfang, the vice dean Liu Jun said, “We want to churn out all kinds of professionals in club management, data analysis, tactics design, sports brokering, coaching, judging and anchoring. E-sports players are just one of the many options.”
Netflix has announced that it will not make a direct entry into China. This is symbolic of the difficult regulatory landscape for digital entertainment services and content in China. As mobile developers have found since the introduction of the latest set of Chinese regulations, in July 2016, understanding the Chinese users and the regulations and the competitive landscape are all paramount to a foreign company’s success in this booming digital consumer market. It is not easy, but with careful analysis and preparation it can be done successfully in many cases.
Follow us on Twitter @nikochina to see these comments in real time as we publish them! @ZhugeEx is Niko analyst Daniel Ahmad – his opinions are his own and he has a very informative blog and Twitter feed. Here are a few of our tweets from last week: