Market Intelligence
Consumer Electronics China

China Gaming Industry

China’s gaming industry revenues are led by mobile games with 32 billion US dollars’ revenue in 2020, while E-sports also shows strong revenue-generating capabilities by gaining 20.8 billion US dollars. Other categories like traditional PC games take only a small percentage of the overall market, generating only 8.5 billion US dollars.

As of 2019, the United States ranks second after Japan in exporting games to China, with a total of 198 titles already approved in the Chinese market.

Chinese gaming companies are looking to expand to overseas markets and have had some success over the years. Chinese gaming firms’ revenue from overseas markets grew from 9.59 billion US dollars in 2018 to 11.59 billion US dollars in 2019, and reached a record high of 15.45 billion US dollars in 2020.

China revenue by game type
Revenue levels of China Gaming industry


Source: China Audio Video and Digital Publishing Association - Gaming Industry Committee


Distribution Requirements: Foreign publishers face numerous regulatory challenges to bringing a title to China, including the requirement to partner with a local distributor.

Tightening of New Games Approvals: China’s National Press and Publication Administration has tightened approval processes for new games since 2018, making it harder for any new game, domestic or overseas, to enter the market.

Local & International Competition: Chinese local governments (provincial or municipal level across the country), or countries like Canada, offer very competitive incentives to attract inbound investment in gaming industry.

Best Prospects

IP Licensing: Demand for quality IP (characters, plots, settings from other forms of entertainment like movies, animation or novels, etc.) for use in games exists, as IP-based games still take up a major portion of the games market. Among the top 100 highest-grossing mobile titles in China in 2019, around 73% were IP based.

China Gaming Companies “Going Overseas”:  Opportunities exist for selling your products and services to Chinese gaming companies looking to “go overseas”: for example, games localization support, cloud services, hardware and server distribution, talent recruitment, and overseas investment support.

Resources for more information: China Audio Video and Digital Publishing Association - Gaming Industry Committee
Major Trade Shows: · China Joy

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