Taking place at Casual Connect London (back in May), we had the pleasure of presenting some of our Chinese specific data at Mobvista’s byte-sized event, Xplore China. Alongside TikTok and Mobvista themselves, we shared a few key insights that any mobile game developer should know when tackling the Chinese market.

In case you missed it (or if you just fancy a refresher on some of the key findings), we’ve summarised all of them and included videos of each speaker session into this blog post. So, if you’re thinking of launching your mobile game in China, or just want to learn more about the market, these 3 talks are for you.

#1 The behavior of mobile gamers in China are different than the rest of the world

Our very own CEO, Ioana Hreninciuc, took to the stage first. Using data from our portfolio of up to 80,000 mobile games, she presented an analysis of players in China to help you understand how you can monetize the Chinese mobile games market.

How to monetize in the East

  • Focus less on ads, and more on in-app purchases (IAP)
    Players in China spend 50% more on IAP than users in the rest of the world. But make sure to keep in mind that they have a lower conversion rate. For instance, their average conversion rate is 0.04%, whereas it’s 0.05% for other markets.
  • Once you have the players hooked, they are less likely to switch to another game
    Although players in China have a lower number of sessions (3.6 per user in China vs 4.9 per user outside of China), their average session length is longer (104 seconds vs 70 seconds for players in the rest of the world).
  • Chinese New Year is a great time to monetize through IAP
    According to our data, there are usually more users playing during the holidays (around December to March) than the rest of the year.
  • If players don’t come back during the weekend, it’s likely that they won’t come back at all
    Our data shows that there’s at least a 10% difference in traffic between the week and weekend.

#2 Localizing means a lot more than just translating your game

Next to the stage was Mobvista themselves, where Leticia Ye, Director of Business Development, shared everything you should know about localizing in China (especially the value of partnering up with one of the core social media giants there).

Useful facts that’ll help you understand the market

  • Hire a mandarin translator
    You probably know this already but if you didn’t, all of the players in China share the same cultural background and language (Mandarin).
  • Seriously, focus on in-app purchases
    81% of the population prefer making payments with their mobile phones. On top of that, mobile games actually account for more than 60% of the revenue generated in the space.
  • Do your research on the fragmented Android store
    Android takes more than 70% of the market share. But due to government regulations, it’s less complicated to run campaigns on iOS.

If you want to learn more about launching mobile games in China, our friends at JoyPac have written everything you need to know about this topic, including how to increase your chances of releasing a smash hit.

Know who the Chinese social media giants are

  • Tencent – the biggest social media platform in China. Accounting for 55% of mobile user’s time, not only does it own WeChat, but it is also the parent company of Tencent App Store, Tencent Video, and QQ.
  • Baidu – the Google of China. It drives 80% of the country’s search traffic, making it the country’s main search engine.
  • ByteDance – known as TikTok to us, it’s considered as the primary entertainment and news outlet for mobile users in China.

Why it’s beneficial to know what each platform does

In short, it’ll make it a heck of a lot easier for you to localize your marketing campaigns (especially since when running on just one of them will get you access to pretty much most of the mobile users in China).

Keep in mind that China has its own social media ecosystem, and the people there don’t have access to the apps in the West. All in all, it will be a win-win situation. The players will get access to a bunch of games on one platform, and you’ll get your title in an app that they use every day.

#3 Consider finding a tech giant like TikTok to partner with

Faye Zhang from ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok) then shared the key reason for their recent exponential growth: short videos are becoming more and more popular in China.

Video content is pretty much everywhere now, and is one of the biggest forms of entertainment out there. But creating, editing, and sharing this type of content all in one place didn’t exist until TikTok arrived (YouTube can’t even do this, yet).

With over 250 million daily active users (DAUs), and a daily average view of over 2 billion, ByteDance has pioneered a new marketing channel where users can do exactly that with their everyday moments. It’s no surprise that it has become the current go-to platform for users in China to produce video content.

Why you should consider using a platform like TikTok

  • It’s more immersive
    TikTok gives their users an immersive experience by allowing them to directly add different stickers, sound effects, snippets of various songs, and filters to their videos.
  • Their algorithm
    TikTok has a personalized algorithm that shows users content only within their interests.
  • It’s more personal
    All of the content created, uploaded, and shared on the mobile app is by users of TikTok.

That’s about it! Mobvista will be doing more events like this, so make sure to follow them on Twitter to stay in the loop. If you’re interested in getting touch with the Mobvista team to learn more about the Chinese market, you can message them here.

We’re also doing a series of events here in London called “The Arcade Revolution.” Each event focuses on a specific subgenre of games within the “Arcade” category. For our last one (that took place in June), Voodoo and Platonic Games joined as speakers to talk about all things hyper-casual.

Thanks for reading. Before you go, here are some more resources if you’re considering launching mobile games in China:

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