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Big in China

Online gaming booms .. in communist China of all places

China might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think "online gaming", but as a certain over-enthusiastic Chinese fighter pilot recently proved by flashing his e-mail address at a passing American spy plane, the most populous country in the world is surprisingly switched-on when it comes to all things internet. Upwards of twenty million Chinese people are currently online, and although this is still only a tiny proportion of the country's massive population, apparently those that have got onto the internet are almost as crazy about games as their neighbours in nearby Korea, with 18% of Chinese internet users interested in online games according to a recent survey.

In fact, since the first multiplayer games arrived in the country last year the market has boomed, and now includes at least ten online games. Two of the most popular games were developed in Taiwan, and American export Ultima Online managed to place fifth in the poll - Chairman Mao would be turning in his grave! Somewhere in the region of half a million players are now regularly taking part in these decidely un-communist games, bringing in around $50m a year. And that number could more than double by the end of the year as a flood of new games enters the country and broadband connections take off.

It's a funny old world...

Source - PR Newswire

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