The first Chinese Mobile Esports Games (CMEG) press conference took place in Beijing on March 19th. A spokesperson from the General Administration of Sports of China, Information Center, reported that China’s esports market in 2015 reached RMB 27 billion in market size (approx. $175 billion USD), and they are exploring opportunities and policies for opening up esports betting. According to research reports from Hang Seng Bank Limited, opening up esports betting will bring about RMB 3.7 billion (approx. $24 billion USD) to the esports industry. The spokesperson from the General Admin of Sports of China listed several reasons why betting hasn’t been allowed yet, including reasons like esports having a short history in China, the fact that many esports teams are not professional enough, that betting is also limited by law and policies, and that they are still working on esports rules and regulations. Also, it was mentioned during the press conference that 2020 is the year for the official commercialization for a 5G network in China. That will bring a huge impact to the esports industry as well as it continues to grow in the mobile space, beyond just PC games and console games.
Bao Feng Mo Jing, a virtual reality (VR) industry leader in China, published a report on VR users in China, which conducted studies on Chinese VR users for the first time and drew a picture of the potential user image. The report shows that China has 286 million potential VR users. The research results show that male home-bodies interested in IT will be the “main force” for VR in China. For hardcore VR users, men account for over 70%, while the age range of 25-34 year-olds accounts for over 60%. Hardcore VR users who are also home-bodies are already paying consumers for IT and digital products.
Movies, panoramic videos, VR games, panoramic tours, panoramic pictures and more. are all very popular among hardcore VR users, and Huge Screen/IMAX movie is the most popular one, accounting for approximately 80% of popularity. Females are more attracted to panoramic tours and panoramic pictures, according to the study. Among the list of VR devices that they plan to buy within a year, VR glasses are the top item, accounting for 83.1%, followed by VR HMD for PC, accounting for about 33%.
Douyu TV, similar to Twitch TV (purchased by Amazon for $970 million USD in 2014), has raised $100 million in a round of funding led by Tencent Holdings Ltd. The deal reportedly values Douyu TV over $1 billion, putting it on par with Twitch TV. Tencent has been on a run lately with their funding, as we noted earlier this month, and they also just released their financial numbers for the calendar year of 2015. The giant Internet company earned almost $16 billion USD last year, with a sizable portion of that coming from their mobile games, PC client games, messaging and social network services.
On the heels of Kung Fu Panda 3’s success and Stephen Chow’s the Mermaid, it would look like yet another movie was rising quickly in China but appearances can be deceiving. China’s SAPPRFT have suspended the license of a distributor for the Hong Kong martial arts movie Ip Man 3 after it was discovered that Dayinmu (Beijing Max Screen), the distributor, admitted to buying $9 million USD worth of tickets to inflate the box office figures.
Last year’s purportedly highest-grossing movie, Monster Hunt, was also found guilty of the same practice when the producers claimed to have bought $6 million USD worth of tickets “for free screenings for senior citizens and others.” China is still striving to improve their fraud prevention in all aspects of the entertainment industry, from cloned mobile games to ensuring the accuracy of these movie distribution numbers.
Tencent released its 2015 Q4 and 2015 full year earnings report. In Fiscal Year 2015, Tencent makes RMB 102.9 billion ($15.8 billion), increased by 30% YoY. This article reports Tencent’s ARPU – as the Chinese smartphone market is getting saturated in terms of installment, the entire industry is now focusing on getting more paying users instead of just getting more users. In fact, the overall ARPU across entire industry has increased during 2015. Tencent’s mobile game revenue in particular in Q4 2015 was RMB 7.1 billion, increasing by 86% from RMB 3.8 billion in Q4 2014. In Q4, Tencent’s mobile game ARPU was around RMB 185-195, increasing by 20% from Q4 2014.
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