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Pandemic Drives Revenue Growth for China’s Top 30 Mobile Game Publishers

By Ding Yi / Feb 16, 2021 05:46 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s thirty biggest mobile game publishers reported a combined leap in revenue garnered from the app stores run by Apple and Google last month, continuing a trend that started last year when the coronavirus pandemic increased demand for online entertainment.

The publishers, which include Tencent, NetEase and miHoYo, made more than $2.3 billion globally on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, representing a year-on-year increase of 47.3% and accounting for 28.8% of total global mobile gaming revenue for January, according to a WeChat post published by research firm SensorTower.

Tencent was China’s No. 1 mobile game publisher in January with its revenue jumping 18% month-on-month. SensorTower attributed the revenue growth to the global popularity of its battle royale title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG Mobile) as well as the recent release of the mobile version of “Call of Duty” in China. SensorTower did not specify how much money Tencent earned from mobile games in the month.

The figures did not factor in additional revenue from local Chinese app stores, which tend to take a higher cut of proceeds than their international counterparts — an issue which came to a head last month as smartphone maker Huawei locked horns with gaming powerhouse Tencent.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: In Depth: Huawei and Tencent Aren’t Playing Around Over Mobile Gaming Revenue

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