Chinese Gamers Spent $1.7B on Online Games

This should be a clear indication of just why China has even opened Internet addiction clinics, shouldn't it?

Chinese gamers spent USD 1.7 billion on online games in 2007, up 71 per cent from the prior year, according to market intelligence firm Niko Partners.

The firm expects online revenue to reach USD 2.5 billion this year and USD 6 billion by 2012 - a 29 per cent compound annual growth rate for the five-year period.

"China's spending on games is up thanks to their booming economy," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners.

It is interesting that the same report indicated that consoles - which are banned, are still purchased illegally, with Wii, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 sales reaching 2.48 million, a 75% (!) increase from the prior year.