Take A Glance: The Burgeoning Mobile Game Market in China

Partner Post - Youmi Global Mobile Affiliate Network

Posted: August 22, 2018

China, with the top 1 mobile app download volume in the world, represents the most un-ignorable mobile market. However, it’s also one of the most challenging markets for global enterprises to enter. 

China is a huge driver of growth when it comes to worldwide smartphone adaption. End of February 2018, the mobile internet users of China reached 1.28 billion, 4G mobile users reached 1.03 billion, 71.6% of total mobile users. 

According to CNG insight in May 2018, China is the largest mobile gaming market in the world with estimated revenues of over $17.9 billion in 2017. There are over 550 million mobile gamers in China, more than the population of most western countries. 

Source: CNG

According to GPC report, there are over 2,300 gaming companies in China, mostly are located around coastal cities. Only 31% of them are game developing companies, others are agencies and distributors.

Source: GPC

In China, the monetization potential for gaming is continuously climbing. In average, one Chinese smartphone user has 24 applications installed and a quarter are usually games. In 2017, the average ARPU of China mobile games reached 209.6 RMB (around $31.3 USD). 

Although the Chinese mobile gaming market maps new opportunities for foreign games, foreign developers must still face more challenges than domestic developers. In fact, foreign mobile games accounted for only 4% of China’s mobile gaming revenues (about $71.6 billion) in 2017.

Source: CNG

Launching iOS games will be much easier

Chinese mobile app market is different from anything you’ve ever known. Since Google Play is forbidden in China, right now there are nearly 400+ 3rd party Android marketplaces. Meanwhile, it is obligated by law to use a local partner for publishing an Android game. Games meant for Chinese iOS users are relatively easy to distribute. However, the truth is, iOS only has nearly 20% market in China, while Android over 79%. Although Android is dominating the Chinese markets, iOS is taking a big share of revenues. From 2010 to 2017, China iOS App Store downloads had reached 39.9 billion, the consumer spend had reached $27.7 billion, becoming the Top 2 iOS market in the world (the Top 1 is U.S.).

These statistics represent a huge potential. According to App Growing report, the games from U.S. France, Japan, South Korea were performing well on China Apple Store. 

Source: App Growing

Meanwhile, the game segmentation is obviously different from country to country. In China, “Role Play” category is pretty popular and “Strategy”, “STG”, “Card”, “Casual” categories also play a significant role (See the statistics below).

Source: App Growing

Although China is the biggest gaming market on the planet, it is still considered one of the toughest markets due to restrictions and competitions. Is localization complicated? Can you engage true audiences? How to grow brand awareness?

Youmi, together with App Growing, provides the facts, analysis and tips for promoting your mobile games in China, filling up the gap between you and your target Chinese audience with experience across multiple industries, verticals and technologies.