The article discusses the difficulty of success in China’s mobile games market compared with the rest of the world, using US-based Playdot’s games TwoDots as the case study. One of Niko’s data points that is used in this article shows our estimate that roughly 40% of Chinese mobile gamers spend some money in games. In a separate article this week about Japanese mobile gamers, Gamelook reports that roughly 30% of Japanese mobile gamers spend money in games
A report by TrendForce estimates that 1.2 billion smartphones were shipped in 2014 globally, up 25.9% over 2013. 40% of these were made by Chinese brands, and 6 of the Top 10 smartphone manufacturers are from China: Lenovo/Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi, Coopad, ZTE and TCL. However, the total shipment of Chinese smartphones is still less than the total shipment of Samsung and Apple. According to Reuters, Apple has shipped the most number of smartphones in China in the fourth quarter, overtaking Samsung and domestic companies such as Xiaomi for the first time, according to data firm Canalys.
A Beijing Times article picked up by Marbridge Daily shows a sad state of business for Chinese e-commerce:
“China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has tested 92 batches of products sold online in the second half of 2014 and found that only 54 were genuine articles, equating to 58.7%. The percentage of genuine items on Alibaba Group’s (NYSE: BABA) C2C e-commerce site Taobao was the lowest at 37.25%.
The test randomly selected products from Taobao, B2C platform JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), Alibaba Group’s B2C site Tmall, B2C site Yihaodian and cosmetics group buy site Jumei (NYSE: JMEI). Looking at the three most well-known B2C platforms, 20 items were selected from JD.com of which 90% were genuine, 7 from Tmall of which 85.71% were genuine and 10 from Yihaodian of which 80% were genuine. All of the fake goods taken from JD.com and Yihaodian were from third-party sellers. Every item selected from Jumei was a genuine article.”
Censorship is a real issue for online game developers in some Asian countries. We are all aware of the content regulations in China that make it difficult to get a permit to publish a PC online game (and other types of games too), and we know that Vietnam has a ban on new game licenses that has a choke-hold on games industry growth in that country, despite officially being revoked in late 2013. But now news has come in that a local Philippine government has banned Defense of the Ancients (DotA), Crossfire and Point Blank for use in Internet cafés. Salawag’s Barangay Council sees these games as roots of discord in peace and harmony (stabbings were reported) not only in computer shops but also among families and the community as well. The documents (viewable in the article) show that there will be strong penalties for the I-café owners who choose to violate the new ban on these games, and more titles could also be added to the list.
eSports is a hot topic in Asian gaming, and getting hot in other parts of the world too. We are following it in our syndicated market research studies and in our news reports. Yugatech.com published a list of the 10 highest earning pro DotA 2 gamers worldwide, and with take-home pay like this we can understand how young gamers would be inspired to play hard to follow their role models into riches.