Feb 14, 2019 08:21 PM

Chart of the Day: Internet Business Growth Rebounds Slightly

The main business income of China’s midsize and large internet and gaming companies grew 20.3% year-on-year in 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in January.

That was up from 18.8% year-on-year in 2017.

The companies made 956.2 billion yuan ($141.1 billion) in main business income last year.

Main business refers to revenue from internet information services, such as online retailing, news aggregating, gaming and livestreaming, and revenue from operating servers at internet data centers. It excludes things like office space leasing and investments.

A big increase in e-commerce sales led the growth. Online retail sales of physical goods hit 7.0198 trillion yuan in 2018, up 25.4% year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (link in Chinese).

However, slowing growth in China’s games market followed a 10-month freeze imposed by the regulator last year. Its total revenue only increased an estimated 5.3%, after expanding 23% in 2017, according to industry research firm Gamma Data and the Chinese Game Publishers Association Publications Committee.

The MIIT’s figures only count internet companies which made more than 3 million yuan from their main business in 2017. The ministry didn’t say how many companies were included in the calculation.


Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (

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