Chinese internet giant Alibaba recently announced that it plans to pour RMB 1 billion (USD145 million) into mobile gaming distribution through its gaming unit Ali Gaming this year, in its renewed efforts to boost its presence in the booming gaming sector, local Chinese media is reporting.
The move came just days after the internet behemoth announced a strategic partnership (in Chinese) with its nearly half-owned film unit Alibaba Pictures to integrate its cultural and entertainment resources.
Simon Shi, President Alibaba Games, Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group, also announced at a press conference in Beijing the official partnership of the company with Mail.ru Group, TFJoy, Efun and ONEMT to establish the Global Strategic Alliance of Game Distribution.
The partners said they envision to bridge the mobile games distribution between China and Russia, Europe, Japan, Middle East and the US and provide upgraded gaming experience to local users.
Alibaba Games has upgraded the traffic distribution by integrating the traffic in both the iOS and Android platforms and is using big data technology for accurate distribution and precise recommendation system to each user.
Shi said the development in mobile games market in the five biggest international market – Europe and the United States, Japan and South Korea, the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia – is uneven. European, American, Japanese and South Korean markets are already considered mature markets, while the Middle East in the past two years is seeing rapid development, and Latin America and Southeast Asia as the emerging markets show very high potential in the mobile games consumption. “We are doing very well in emerging markets like India and Indonesia already,” he said.
Data shows that in 2016 the Indian mobile Internet population reached 370 million, by the end of 2017 it is expected to reach 500 million. As of February 2017, the Indonesian mobile Internet population has reached 100 million.
In these emerging markets, the company has already built its powerful content and game distribution network. UC Browser as the flagship product of Alibaba Mobile Business Group has hit the No.1 place in market share. And the app distribution platform 9Apps is the leading third-party app store in India and Indonesia.
According to statistics, Tencent and NetEase are the two largest players in China’s gaming market, grabbing a combined 60 per cent share in the first half of 2016, with Tencent taking in RMB 34.2 billion (USD 4.9 billion) in revenue and NetEase RMB 12. 5 billion (USD 1.8 billion).