Apps China Digital Business GAFABAT Gaming Mobile Success in China

A Step into Mоbіlе Gaming Induѕtrу іn Chіnа

A man tried a game called Honor of Kings

Shanghai, mid-September, as we walk down the street, a Vape Bar attracts our attention.
This unique concept bar, owned by a group of young rich Chinese, astonished my fellows and me. Inside we found a clan of chillers playing on their phones, 5 of them sitting around a table. They talk hastily to each other and one of them seems to give out calls. A huge wide screen is hanging over the bar broadcasting their game play. They are playing a game, which almost looks like League of Legends. ‘This is Honor of Kings’ said PuJiaJun (浦佳骏). The game has been captivating Chinese Youth recently. Our new friends had even organized a gaming competition for that evening, with a sizable cash prize as first prize. They invited us to come and we accepted.Submitted to Tencent’s regulations

Later, as I tried the game I receive a message stating that I had to take a 20 minutes’ break.
Tencent regulates gaming time according to your account information. Every user is required to log in through WeChat or QQ. That way all your data is immediately compiled and verified. Due to the tremendous amount of players under 18, the Giant rations game time as many facts and rumours swirl about the prevalence and severity of video games addiction. Prompt warning on play timeWhat’s all the hype about it?

Communication is key, as Tencent know perfectly well. On its release date (November 26, 2015), the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) went viral instantly connecting all players via WeChat and QQ. Almost as quickly, all over Chinese social media claims that the game was dangerously addictive began to appear. Among the 80 million daily users of the game more than a quarter are teenagers, according to Jiguan report. This study also states that 54% of players are female which is 20% more than usual in a fighting game. Nowadays HoK matches 200m monthly users for a 1v1, 1v3 or 5v5 game.


Parenting also plays an important role, as some of the parents choose to forbid access to Honor of Kings (HoK), others don’t want their children to be left apart from the social circle.  In China, it’s perfectly normal to play in the subway, at the restaurant or at the bar. Losing face to others is unacceptable, even in a game you have to be a winner to be appreciated by your peers at university or work.How HoK became the most profitable mobile game ever ?

Based on League of Legends (LOL) success, Tencent dedicated HoK to Chinese mainland players by adding iconic Chinese characters along with a traditional historical lore embellished with fantastic stories. Riot, held by Tencent, developed LOL and set up MOBA game as the most played ever. Furthermore, LOL is now famous for its gigantic events with gigantic cash prizes. Tencent accumulated its LOL experience to deliver the perfect game to Chinese players. All the game’s features are dedicated to mobile gaming, a quick and entertaining game easily shareable with one’s social circle.
On average a game lasts 15 minutes which is suitable to play on the crowded subway, between lessons at school and during a break at work. In-game features are inspired by LOL’s ones. Players are offered the possibility to buy champions, skins, runes, packs or level up their game account. The best players are pinned on the main screen based on their rank and championship matchmaking, live streaming of events and spectating games keep the player on the app. The game is free-to-play; thus only purchasable items will grant the best items. The massive amount of players explains how HoK generated $828 million revenue from January to March 2017. App Annie, an app performance tracking firm crowned Honor of Kings as the biggest revenue generator on smartphone games. In-games feature and exchange virtual currenciesTencent Mobile Gaming Leadership

Honor of Kings adapted its name and in-game features to coveted regions. Tencent analyzed each region as a niche market depending on its culture. By clutching to players needs and requirements they seduced the Asian market influenced by Chinese unique gaming industry.

Tencent now holds League of Legends and Honor of Kings, pushing them even away ahead of their competition in the mobile gaming industry.

Earlier this month, Nintendo announced a partnership with Tencent to allow cross-platform gaming by bringing the top grossing game to the new trendy console Nintendo Switch.

Mobile gaming is on the go; China is definitely looking forward to developing such influential games in the future, with all its economic, historical and digital benefits. Honor of Kings big event

Apps China Life in China MBADMB Shanghai

Study in Shanghai: how to learn Chinese

You just landed and realise that speaking Chinese is a real tool to live here in Shanghai? You are eager to speak Chinese? Here is my favorites apps to learn Chinese on daily basis.


Infographic about how to learn Chinese

Here are my hints to learn Chinese on a daily basis.

Don’t hesitate to share your favorites apps or comment below.

Apps BAT China Digital Business eCommerce GAFABAT Les tuto tech Life in China Lifestyle Mobile Music platforms Shanghai Webdesign & UX

Music Experience in China: Tencent, unstoppable leader

You are a music lover, a melomaniac? So am I and here is my experience with music in China.

You will quickly notice you have to change your Western habits and download other apps to stream music. Indeed, unless you connect via a VPN, YouTube isn’t available and no neither are Deezer, SoundCloud, Dailymotion, Pandora. Though, TIDAL and Napster are accessible in China. So is Spotify without a VPN but you need a premium account to enjoy all its features. An alternative to YouTube is YouKu, which is the Chinese YouTube. Needless to say content is different as most videos are in Chinese. Still, you can find what you are looking for if you copy paste Chinese characters from an online translator. Bing and Baidu are accessible without a VPN and are very efficient browsers to search and translate. Here in China there are lot of apps that allow you to access most music for free.

Let me introduce my favorites. All of them are free on Google PlayStore, Apple Store and Mi Store (Xiaomi – 小米 Store). Yes, they are FREE. QQ Music – QQ音乐

Desktop version: Windows and Mac

The most popular music streaming and download service app held by the giant Tencent creators of WeChat. Their market shares in China’s digital music is about 39% which is enormous.Now let’s look at one in-app feature. Just as Shazam, QQ Music has its own song recognising mini-app. First step: press the red circled icon Press the main button to ask QQ Music data to recognise the song actually playing Here you are! QQ Music found the music just as Shazam.Here is a quick overview of how to use QQ Music on a smartphone.

KuGou Music – CoolDog – 酷狗音乐

Desktop version: Windows only

One of the largest music streaming service in the world owning 29% of Chinese market’s share.

Kuwo Music – 酷我音乐

Desktop version: Beta
The third giant in music streaming service in China owning 13% of market’s shares.

Basically, all Chinese music apps developed a social category which allows them to dig even deeper into the users consumption habits. It is interesting to see the incredible number of features they offer.

KuWo Social aspect

Features of KuGuo Music

NetEase –   网易

Desktop Version: Windows and Mac

This video will introduce you on how to quickly log in and enjoy NetEase streaming platform on your laptop.

Xiami – 虾米音乐
Not to confound with Xiaomi

Desktop version: Windows and Mac

Log in via Taobao

I manage to log in to Xiami thanks to my Taobao account. This is quite impressive !Now let’s log in on the desktop version of Xiami Music and search some music!Why is it free?Chinese music apps are not as profitable as Spotify is in the Western world. Spotify users pay $10 monthly whereas the average for a Chinese music app premium account is around $1.5. QQ music premium accounts holders have access to high quality songs to download whereas Spotify premium account holders are given ad free service, downloadable content and the best audio quality. These two opposite services are intimately linked to local business. Chinese music market is enormous. They can afford to spend huge amounts of money on advertising and development and offer low cost premium accounts ($1.5) since they are 4 times as many QQ Music monthly as Spotify‘s monthly users.

However QQ Music only has 10m people subscribers which is much lower than Spotify’s 30m subscribers. Half of all the Chinese users bought online service on music apps this year according to Chinese analyst iResearch. There is a huge willingness to pay for music in China. Andy Ng, Tencent’s Vice president estimated 700m people are using music streaming apps to listen to music. If Tencent manage to reach the same conversion rate of free users to subscribers as Spotify (around 30%) it would provide a huge income to the music industry.

What about smaller apps?


Baidu Music logo
Baidu – 百度音乐

Desktop version: Windows

Duomi logo
Duomi – 多米音乐

Desktop version: Windows

TTPOD logo
TTPOD – Alibaba

Desktop version: Windows & Mac

What’s next?Watch out! Keep yourself aware of the Chinese app market.

Smallers apps don’t stand a chance as Tencent acquired Kuwo and KuGuo for $2.7bn last year. The three majors’ music apps are now held by Tencent which now owns over 77% of Chinese digital music market share. Tencent formalised a deal that merged Tencent QQ music business with China Music Group (CMC) to form the biggest Music company in China called Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME).

Chinese music market has clearly an untapped potential. The giant Tencent thought ahead and thanks to the financial heft they have created a huge gap between themselves and their competitors in the music industry. Right now they seem unstoppable as their desire to innovate user experience never ceases to grow.Don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any question.