Chinese publisher The9 has announced plans to establish a $100 million fund for mobile development, which will be used to invest in app development in China and around the world.
The fund is being set up with the help of three investment firms: Chengwei Ventures, ChinaRock Capital Management and China Renaissance K2 Ventures. The9 will accept project proposals online, which will be evaluated by a team of experts appoints by the four fund investors.
Best known in the West as the original publishers of World of Warcraft in China, The9 now operates a number of its own and other licensed online titles.
"Mobile internet application and platform has become a significant part of the mobile and Internet industry with a rapidly growing number of smartphone users, especially in China. We noticed that there are many talented and creative domestic development teams in need of support during their development," said The9 chairman and CEO Jun Zhu.
"I believe Fund9 has a unique opportunity to provide such support to these talented developers who will be able to launch more advanced mobile applications that will ultimately benefit all mobile internet users," he added.
In a separate announcement The9 also announced revealed that it had purchased a five-year licence to use mobile social networking platform OpenFeint in China. The software is compatible with both Android and iOS platforms and currently has over 13,000 registered developers and over 50 million registered users.
"As the world's leading social mobile gaming network software, OpenFeint's software combines both social networking and gaming features that have great potential for development in China. We believe that our mobile social gaming network in China can deliver to our users, fantastic contents and an overall exhilarating gaming experience," said Jun Zhu.