China Digital Entertainment Industry Annual Summit held in Xiamen
China's games market reported strong growth last year as gaming is becoming an important form of entertainment, particularly among the young.
Game sales in China rose 23 percent year on year to 203.6 billion yuan (31.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, said Zhang Huaihai, an official with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Mobile games reported stronger annual growth of 41.7 percent, with revenues contributing 116.1 billion yuan, or 57 percent of the total revenues, Zhang told the China Digital Entertainment Industry Annual Summit, which closed Thursday in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen.
"For the younger generation, games are becoming an increasingly important part of their entertainment," said Xiao Hong, CEO of game developer Perfect World.
The mobile gaming market has entered a period of steady growth after much faster growth in earlier years, said Yu Xiaohang, an analyst with Internet business data provider Umeng. It grew 103.7 percent and 81.9 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to another data provider, iResearch.
Third- and fourth-tier cities still have huge potential as the gaming penetration rate there is only half of that in the first-tier cities, said Yu.
Wang Yi, vice president of NetEase, said NetEase Games will explore more integration with culture, life and education in the future.