Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is trying to attract Canadian game developers to get an edge over rivals in the fiercely competitive Chinese mobile gaming market. The largest Chinese search engine company is visiting Toronto and Vancouver to strike deals with game developers, reports The Globe and Mail. Vancouver is considered a hot spot for mobile gaming and animation.
Baidu wants to maintain its edge in mobile gaming
Baidu owns a mobile app store which usually sees over 100 million downloads a day. Cheng Wei, VP at Baidu Mobile Games, said that he met about a dozen game developers in Vancouver, and will meet developers in Toronto in the next few days. Baidu leads the Chinese mobile gaming market with 40% share on Android platform. Mr. Cheng says bringing Canadian-made games to Baidu’s platform will help the company as the market becomes more competitive.
Cheng Wei said Western companies will have to make their mobile games smaller if they want to succeed in the Chinese market, which has more than 300 million mobile gamers. About 80% of Chinese mobile users rely on a data plan to download games. And they avoid downloading anything too big, especially on a weak network. Many of the games developed in North America and Europe are not suitable for the Chinese market simply because of their size.
Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) hunting for skilled game developers
Most of the best-selling games in China are between 1MB and 80MB in size. In contrast, Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA)’s Monopoly title is 271MB, and Grand Theft Auto 3 is about 1.2GB in size. These are too large for Chinese users who rely on a monthly data plant and 3G networks. According to JPMorgan, Chinese mobile gaming market grew 40% YoY to $705 million in the first quarter of this year.
Amid rising competition in the search business, Baidu is expanding its business to mobile gaming. Cheng said he has been given the responsibility to hunt for skilled game developers and popular games.
Baidu shares inched up 0.40% to $190.62 in pre-market trading Wednesday.