China's mobile gaming market is showing signs of better growth this year, following a bumpy adjustment in 2018, as overall revenue for the industry reached 77 billion yuan in June, up 21.5% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest agency data of QuestMobile.
While the revenue growth pace in June 2019 is faster than the 12.9% year-on-year growth registered in June 2018, it still pales in comparison to the 50-80% year-on-year revenue growth that occurred in 2015 to 2017, when smartphone penetration was still increasing in China's 1.4 billion person consumer market.
As many as 691 million Chinese civilians were mobile gaming users as of June 2019, which increased from 621 million in December 2018 when Chinese authorities loosened approval on new games. The June 2019 figure, however, is still down from the peak of 772 million users registered in February 2018.
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More than 320 mobile games in Tencent's WeChat -- the popular messaging app that has more than one billion active users globally -- each had over one million monthly active users as of June this year, according to the QuestMobile. For ordinary smartphone apps in China, only 140 of them had more than one million monthly active users during that month.
Users aged between 19 and 35 years old accounted for two-thirds of Chinese mobile game players as of June 2019. Meanwhile, the number of female players has increased rapidly, accounting for 47% of the mobile gaming population, according to QuestMobile.
The average Chinese mobile game player spent 18.5 hours on mobile games in June, down from 19.6 hours in June last year.
The United States is expected to overtake China's leading position as the world's top gaming market this year as China's nine-month ban on approving new games in 2018 continues to send chills throughout the entire market, market research firm Newzoo said in a research note in June.
China, which has been the world's largest gaming market for the past three years, is projected to register $36.5 billion in game revenue for 2019, lagging slightly of the United States' $37 billion. The revenue in the United States has primarily been driven by growth in the mobile and console market, according to the Newzoo report.