China’s eSports Industry

The Game Publishers Association Publications Committee (GPC) of The China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association and Gamma Data jointly published the “2016 Q1 Chinese eSports Industry Report.” The report shows that in Q1 China’s eSports market generated RMB 12.1 billion revenue, and the game streaming market size reached RMB 520 million. Mobile eSports accounts for 1/3 of the total eSports revenue with RMB 4.1 billion.

Leading eSports games on PC include: LOL (Tencent), Hearthstone (NetEase), Crossfire (Tencent), DOTA2 (Perfect World), Heroes of the Storm (NetEase) and WOW3 (NetEase). Leading mobile eSports games are dominated by Tencent’s titles such as King of Glory, Crossfire Mobile, Airplane War, We Fire, Fight the Landlord, etc.

This assessment of the eSports industry in China, however, could include a different definition than just the narrow revenue defined by professional gamers and paid tournaments. To learn more about our recent overview of eSports (and the different definitions that can be used to identify this market), check out our blog.

The “Wang Hong” Phenomenon

Taiwan media recently reported on the “Wang Hong” phenomenon – “Internet Red”, meaning online video content producers or streaming hosts who got famous through Internet. The report stated that there are currently more than 1 million Wang Hong in mainland China, 82.3% of which are pretty girls.

These online video hosts gain fan base through streaming video content and receive virtual gifts with which they can later trade for cash/revenue – video content platforms calculate the value of the virtual gift each host gain and split revenue with the hosts. Usually these hosts can get 30-40% of the revenue. The report also estimated that an average Wang Hong makes about RMB 20,000 every month (approximately $3k USD). Some celebrity Wang Hong’s annual income can reach as high as RMB 2 million (approximately $30k USD).

We’ve seen this trend globally in the video game scene with the rise of, but also in general such as people considered “YouTubers” or “YouTube celebrities” in the US – Internet celebrities who got their fame through their online videos

Regulations on Mobile App Collection of User Data

According to Marbridge Daily, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced new regulations for mobile app providers and online app stores that update rules regarding the collection and use of users’ personal data. The new rules will be implemented August 1.

The CAC regulations require app providers to:
1. Take measures to ensure the real identity of registered users, such as using mobile phone number verification methods.
2. Obtain consent from users on the use and collection of their personal information. App providers must clearly indicate the purpose, means, and scope of collection and use of a user’s personal details.
3. Establish inspection and management systems for user-generated content. If illegal content is published, the app provider should issue a warning or impose restrictions depending on the circumstances, including suspending app updates or closing the offending user’s account. The app provider should keep records and report incidents to relevant authorities.
4. Obtain consent from users to collect location information, call records, or to activate users’ cameras or microphones. App providers are also prohibited from bundling unrelated software into their app installers.
5. Respect and protect intellectual property rights. App providers are prohibited from producing or distributing apps that infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.
6. Maintain user records for 60 days.

The regulations also stipulate that online app store operators have the following management responsibilities regarding app providers:
1. Carry out security inspections into app providers. Set up a trustworthiness assessment system and report issues to local Internet administrative departments.
2. Encourage app providers to protect users’ information, and provide users with complete information regarding apps’ collection of their data and information.
3. Encourage app providers to publish lawful content, establish security audit mechanisms and employ an appropriate number of specialized personnel commensurate with business operating scale.
4. Encourage app providers to publish lawful apps, and respect and protect the intellectual property rights of app developers.

Tencent’s Gaming Market Share Keeps Growing

For regular followers of the Niko News, Tencent comes up very consistently with notable advancements in the digital games market of China. VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb highlights some of the top investments Tencent has made in the past decade and discusses the status of the company as not only a Chinese giant, but a worldwide giant.

“This [Supercell] deal is a way for Tencent to indirectly expand its presence in the West where it’s traditionally struggled with its own internal IP,” said ZhugeEX. “With Riot Games and Supercell, Tencent now own one of the biggest PC gaming companies in the West and one of the biggest mobile gaming companies in the West. Revenues generated in the West could triple as soon as this year for Tencent.”

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:

  • Tencent-led consortium to acquire up to 84% stake in Supercell from SoftBank at $10.2 billion valuation …
  • $5.5bn Shanghai Disney park officially opens – CER … via @ChinaEconReview
  • How Kabam self-published its Marvel mobile game in China – and hit No. 1 …
  • THANK YOU for this kind article @womanaroundtown! Street Seens: Prophecy of an Entrepreneur – Niko Partners
  • Taiwanese Gamania Group Relocates Headquarters To Neihu