The online gaming market in China is expected to grow by 28
percent this year with revenues reaching US$970 million according
to new figures from iResearch. This would put China just ahead of
Korea's US$960 million in online game revenues.
Much of this is attributed to the ever-growing Massively
Multiplayer Online (MMO) business with titles like Blizzard's World
of Warcraft continuing to bring in new subscribers and Chinese
gamers are increasingly playing casual titles online as well.
It's also interesting to note the rapid expansion of Internet
use in China. Another report from eMarketer, China Online, delves
into the incredible potential for the online market in the country.
There were more than 111 million Internet users in China in 2005
and that number is expected to exceed 180 million by 2010.
However, there are still some barriers to the growth. While
Chinese gamers are used to paying to play games at Internet cafes
doing the same over the web at home and e-commerce in general has
been slow to take off largely because of users' aversion to credit
"In spite of a red-hot economy, growing e-commerce in China has
proved to be slow going,” explains China Online author, James
Belcher. “A huge target of Internet users alone is not enough.
Because the use of credit cards is not widespread the simple act of
paying for goods online is still a barrier e-tailers must overcome"
(China Daily June 6, 2006)