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The evolution of the Chinese online gaming industry

Nir Kshetri (Bryan School of Business and Economics, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Technology Management in China

ISSN: 1746-8779

Article publication date: 29 May 2009




This paper seeks to examine the growth of the Chinese online gaming industry and disentangle the mechanisms behind the emergence of unique online gaming culture in China.


This is a review paper that provides a detailed and state‐of‐the‐art overview of the development of the Chinese online gaming Industry.


The findings indicate that online gaming is a remarkable example of an industry that is rapidly growing due to innovative business models of Chinese companies. Chinese companies are also working with the government to improve formal institutions to promote the growth of online gaming. Furthermore, we also found that Chinese online gaming industry resembles other technology industries in the country such as those related to handset and PC. Although Chinese companies were traditionally weak in creating new technologies, they have demonstrated success in some modern technologies in recent years. In the early stage of the growth, foreign players dominated the Chinese gaming industry. In recent years, this industry is characterized by the dominance of domestic players in the ecosystem catering to the full value chain of the industry.

Research limitations/implications

A lack of primary data and empirical documentation and a lack of in‐depth treatment of some of the key issues are major limitations here.

Practical implications

The paper examines the implications of China's rapidly growing online gaming industry for high‐technology businesses all over the world. The findings of this paper would help understand the opportunities for foreign multinational companies to enter the Chinese technology market or to intensify their operations in the country as well as the risks associated with China's unique institutions.


This paper's greatest value stems from the fact that it analyzes demand conditions, industry structure and transfer and export conditions from the standpoint of the Chinese online gaming industry and market.



Kshetri, N. (2009), "The evolution of the Chinese online gaming industry", Journal of Technology Management in China, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 158-179.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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