Technology Jul 31

Careful with those mobile games, comrade

China sets cultural limits on the nation’s growing gaming industry 

Careful with those mobile games
Let the Games Begin: ChinaJoy attendees test new games. Photo: AFP  

(ATF) Mobile gaming is a big earner in China and officials want its citizens to play more of them - just as long as they comply with cultural values.

That was the message from the 2020 China Digital Entertainment Congress in Shanghai, also known ad ChinaJoy.

Feng Shixin, the Deputy Director of the Publications Bureau, told the event that while the government encourages growth, products must align with cultural and ideological values.

The call came as ChinaJoy attendees heard that first-half revenue in the sector rose 36% year-on-year to 104.67 billion yuan ($14.97bn), accounting for 75% of total gaming industry revenue. That’s up from a 69% last year 2019.

Cloud gaming and e-sports are booming amid technological upgrades across the country, with their actual sales revenue registering a year-on-year growth of 79% and 55%, respectively.

China's gaming pulled in revenue of 139.5bn yuan, up 22.34%, the report added.

Digital gaming is growing worldwide, and particularly in China where tight coronavirus lockdowns that held tens of millions people in their homes for two weeks encouraged the uptake of online and mobile gaming. Globally, gaming accounts for 31% of children’s leisure time and 60% of teenagers’, according to researcher Futurescape. 

But the deepening tit-for-tat trade and culture row with the US has led to many Western games being removed from Chinese smartphones. In the first week of July more than 2,500 mobile hames were taken off Apple’s China App Store. 

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