YuuZoo targets China's online gaming market with new joint venture

Singapore social e-commerce firm YuuZoo Corporation has entered a joint venture with e-gaming provider XG AMA in China to provide localised and mobile-optimised content for the millions of online gamers in that country. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Singapore social e-commerce firm YuuZoo Corporation has entered a joint venture with e-gaming provider XG AMA in China to provide localised and mobile-optimised content for the millions of online gamers in that country. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore social e-commerce firm YuuZoo Corporation has entered a joint venture with e-gaming provider XG AMA in China to provide localised and mobile-optimised content for the millions of online gamers in that country.

The new company called YuuGames will get access to nearly 5 million active paying users from XG AMA which provides gaming activities through internet cafes and bars in China, a company release said on Thursday.

YuuGames - which will sit in YuuZoo's virtual shopping mall that combines social networking, e-commerce, gaming and payments - plans to target 146,000 cafes and bars in China which serve nearly 120 million gamers. XG AMA already has existing agreements with over 3,000 such net bars.

Under an online to offline business model, YuuGames will leverage these bars wherein visitors will become members of YuuZoo. A mobile app will allow interaction between the bars and its users, like finding a gaming location, reserving seats and arranging matches between e-sport teams. The app will also enable shopping, mobile games broadcast, game events and video screening, lottery games and voting on mobile for games and events, the release said.

China will have around 570 million smartphone users by the end of 2015 and nearly 266 million online gamers between ages 18 and 25 spending at least two hours per month on gaming.

The online gaming market is expected to grow to 131 billion yuan (S$29 billion) in the same period generating an estimated revenue of 33.8 billion yuan.

Experts predict that the rapidly growing number of smartphone users in the country will mean that mobile will continue to increase its share of the Chinese online gaming market.

" We are very excited about the new joint venture," said Thomas Zilliacus, Chairman and CEO of YuuZoo. "Gaming is one of our three strategic pillars to engage users and generate revenue."

Singapore-listed YuuZoo posted a net profit of US$3.2 million for the first quarter ended March 31, reversing from a loss of US$1.1 million in the same period the previous year. It came under the SGX scanner after recently posting a positive research report about itself as an official release on the bourse's website. YuuZoo had paid for the research.

rupsk@sph.com.sg