Online game market expands to 26 bln yuan in China

21:46, January 18, 2010      

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The market scale of online games in China reached 25.8 billion yuan (3.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009, a 39.5 percent increase over the previous year, a white paper on online game development released by the Ministry of Culture (MOC) Monday said.

The document said the domestic games' market size surged 41.9 percent last year to occupy 61.2 percent of the entire market.

As of 2009, China had about 361 major online games which were either in operation or being tested. Among them, 115 were newcomers in the year, it said.

According to the report, Tencent,Inc. had replaced Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. to become the largest online game operator in the country. They are followed by NetEase.com,Inc.

The report said the Chinese online games earned 106 million U.S. dollars from overseas market in 2009, a 47.2 percent increase from the previous year.

The document also underlined several problems behind the thriving online gaming market, including "vulgar" content and addiction to online games.

The document forecasts that online gaming will develop rapidly in the next five years in the country.

Officers in charge of MOC's culture markets department said the ministry would promulgate a regulation in the year to better manage the market and protect the growth of the adolescents.

Source: Xinhua
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