The online games market in China grew by 25 per cent in 2010, reaching a new net worth of $5 billion, according to the latest data from analyst group Pearl Research.
The number one publisher in the country remains Tencent, which generated $1.4 billion in revenues in 2010, followed by Netease on $749 million, Shanda Games on $680 million, Perfect World on $374 million and Changyou on $327 million.
Pearl Research's latest report on online gaming in China identifies mergers and acquisitions as a major trend in 2010 and 2011, with major companies looking to acquire both local and international businesses.
Also of note in 2010 was the initial public offering (IPO) for massively multiplayer online game operator Shenzhen ZQ Game on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. This became the first Chinese online company to be listed domestically in China.
Other major trends include the continuing popularity of Sina's Weibo micro-blogging platform, which has become a phenomenon similar to Twitter in China. Weibo reached 100 million registered users in February 2011, growing by 25 times in 2010.
It is now estimated that the Chinese market will exceed $8 billion by 2014, with the influence - and bank balances - of Chinese publishers continuing to grow.