China’s 668 Million Netizens

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNCC) published its 37th research report this week. The report shows that as of December 2015, China had 668 million “netizens” with internet penetration rates at 50.3%, up 2.4% over 2014. The number of mobile netizens reached 620 million in 2015. Wi-Fi coverage made a significant improvement, with a usage rate of 91.8% among netizens. Among the new netizens in 2015, young netizens (<19 years old) account for 46.1%. People between 10-39 years old account for 75.1% of China's total netizens. The 20-29 year-old age range has the largest share, accounting for 29.9% of total netizens.

Mobile eSports

After a mere two months of commercial operation since its launch on November 26th, Tencent’s Hero Moba (王者荣耀) multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game saw over 10 million daily active users, which is a new record for eSports on touchscreen mobile devices in China. Mobile eSports is a genre gaining importance globally, especially for MOBA games. We will be keeping an eye on the rise of mobile eSports and how they compare to eSports on PCs.

Xiaomi Phones Come to the US

Low-cost Android smartphones from China’s Xiaomi have arrived in the U.S. via US Mobile, according to PC Mag and Wired. The phones are well priced but they are limited to 3G use because 4G in the US is different from 4G in China, so the 4G functionality cannot be used here. One of the problems with this is that there are other low cost 4G phones offered in the US already for about the same $200 price point as the Xiaomi phones.

Chinese New Year Off to a Crowded Start in Guangzhou

Chinese Lunar New Year is February 8th, welcoming the Year of the Monkey, and all of China is in transit. The mass migration lasts about a month if you count the earliest start to travel and the latest returns. Most people take 1-2 weeks off of work, and many schools close for several weeks. For 100,000 wary travelers in Guangzhou it was a crowded hectic weather induced mess that caused massive delays in train departures. The photos in this article give a good look at how grueling traveling in China can be at this time of year.

VR Dominates Taipei Game Show

Virtual reality (VR) is dominated the 2016 Taipei Game Show, which kicked off on Thursday and will ran through Feb. 2, according to the organizer Taipei Computer Association (TCA, 台北電腦公會).

Malaysia’s iCandy to IPO

iCandy Interactive Limited, a mobile games studio from Malaysia, has raised capital for its initial public offering. According to the company statement, the IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was oversubscribed by 92% above its minimum capital-raising requirement, raising over $3.38 million USD. This is the first mobile game company IPO from SEA, though MOL distributes mobile games and it went public more than a year ago.

Niko Partners on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter @nikochina to see these comments in real time as we publish them! Here are a few of our tweets from last week:

  • China’s Mobile Users & Gamers …
  • 16 DOTA Teams Ready For The Shanghai Major In March …
  • Beijing to cap population at 23 million by 2020 …
  • Thailand’s Plans for Broader Internet Access …
  • Report: Top 1% holds one-third of China’s wealth …
  • My latest on Forbes: Culture Wars: Star Wars Underperforms in China & the Differences Emerge