CHINA: Gaming outranks shopping online

New research shows more Internet users in China use the web for online gaming than shopping.

New research from the China Internet Network Information Center shows approximately 200 million of China’s web users regularly play online video games. This places the pastime the sixth most-used application for the Internet, while shopping came in at tenth.

The survey showed primary Internet uses in the region before gaming include music, news, instant messaging, search and video, according to Gamasutra. Behind gaming was email, blogs, forums and shopping.

Around 64 per cent of the country’s web users game online as of June 30, 2009, with the country recording a 16 per cent rise in online gaming when compared to the same period last year.

This may explain why the average number of hours spent per internet user per week went up to 18 hours from 16.6 hours at year-end 2008,” said analysts from research firm Stern Agee.

Analysts also commented on the rough transition of World Of Warcraft, as it transfers to its new Chinese operator NetEase. The game has been unavailable for over a month while government regulators approve the exchange. An agreement has been made that will see the game return as a closed beta on July 30th.

This closed beta was granted to by [Chinese government agency] GAPP,” said According to GAPP’s requirements, the beta will be free of charge, and it will be limited to players who already own a WoW account.”

Blizzard is currently revising World Of Warcraft’s content according to GAPP’s suggestions”.

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