The Shanghai FTZ
We eagerly await more detail regarding the regulations governing consoles in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone. Gamelook said that the details should be coming shortly, or at least a temporary plan should be coming shortly. It seems that international versions of Xbox One and PS4 are already being sold on Taobao.com, and that the Xbox One Taiwan Version is due to be released in March. Microsoft has purchased the domain “xboxone.cn” but the China release data is unannounced, and cannot be planned until the detailed regulation is released.
Rumor: Alibaba to Buy Shanda Interactive
Directly from Marbridge Daily: “According to sources close to the matter, Chen Tianqiao, chairman of Chinese online media and game operator Shanda Interactive, plans to sell the company’s gaming, online video, cloud computing, online literature, and Android app store (Goapk Market) business units to Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group.”
Paying vs. Non-Paying Players
If you’re still uncertain about the differences in the free-to-play (F2P) and subscription based models (and you realize that China’s market is comprised almost entirely of F2P games), this article on GamesIndustry.com does a good job of at least breaking down some highlights of F2P users.
Over 350 Million New Smartphones Shipped in China in 2013
IDC reported that 351 million new smartphones shipped in China in 2013. We know that there were roughly 200 million in use at the end of 2012. Assuming some of these shipments were replacements for existing phones, it is easy to estimate that as of the end of 2013 there were roughly 500 million smartphones activated and in use in China – which is in line with what our friends at Yodo1 had estimated during two presentations we did jointly early in 2013. At that time we had said it looked like the current estimate of 400 million could be exceeded and rise to possibly 500 million activated phones by the end of 2013. The mobile games market accelerated very fast in alignment with those smartphone sales.
iPhones in China
A ranking in China Daily says that the iPhone has the 5th highest market share among smartphone sales in China with 7% share, up from 6% a few months earlier.
China’s Top PC Games in February
17173’s Top 10 list of PC games in China shows one take on the most popular titles. Tech in Asia’s commentary includes the fact that Blade & Soul is nowhere on the Top 10 list – and this supports the analysis we provided in a recent blog post regarding the hype of Blade & Soul.
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