People visit the stand of Tencent’s mobile game ‘Glory of Kings’ during the 2020 China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference (ChinaJoy) at Shanghai New International Expo Center on July 31, 2020 in Shanghai, China.
Zhou You | VCG via Getty Images
SINGAPORE — Video games are booming in China’s smaller cities, with citizens there accounting for more than half of revenue nationally, according to a recent report by Niko Partners.
“76% of gamers in China live in Tier 3-5 cities, accounting for 70% of game revenue,” Niko Partners said in a synopsis of its China Gamers Report.
Cities in China are classified by tiers based loosely on population and economic size. For example, places such as capital Beijing and Shenzhen are generally considered tier-one cities, while lower-tier cities are smaller.
The country is the world’s top game market and will generate an estimated $40.85 billion in revenue this year, according to Newzoo.
“What we think is happening with the smaller tiers is … there are more and more gamers adapting to uses of mobile devices,” Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners, told CNBC in a follow-up interview.
With “fewer things to do for entertainment” in smaller cities as compared with their cosmopolitan peers in Beijing and Shanghai, “gamers spend their time with little cost entertainment which can be social.”
This could also be attributable to improved mobile data and broadband infrastructure, Hanson added, with “lots of Android smartphones available at lower price points.”
In a country of 1.4 billion people, even China’s smallest “cities” can have a population of more than 1 million each.
For video game publishers looking at China, the analyst said: “If you really want to draw the attention of people throughout the country, Tier 4, Tier 5, these places can’t be ignored.”
Activist investor Daniel Loeb on Wednesday urged Walt Disney Co. to skip paying an annual dividend and instead pour the $3 billion into hits for its streaming television service.
Loeb, founder of Third Point hedge fund, made his pitch in a letter to Disney chief executive Bob Chapek and the board of directors.
Loeb reasoned that skipping a few dollars per share in dividends, the entertainment giant could use the money to more than double its budget for content at Disney+ streaming service.
“Disney has built one of the largest streaming platforms in the world, already within the original 5-year Disney+ subscriber target range of 60-90 million,” Loeb said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
“To further capitalize on this transformational opportunity, we believe the company should permanently suspend its $3 billion annual dividend and redirect this capital entirely into content production and acquisition for Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses, centered around Disney+.”
Investing in streaming content instead of paying dividends promises to attract and keep more subscribers; boost time spent watching, and help the company keep pricing competitive, according to Loeb.
Third Point reportedly owned about 5.5 million shares valued at more than $600 million at the end of June.
Disney flung open its vast archive with the arrival of its television streaming service in November.
It competes with Netflix, Apple and Amazon by leveraging its huge catalogue of Disney classics along with its Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic movies — not to mention its wildly successful “Star Wars” franchise.
Like its competition, Disney invests in original content available only to subscribers.
“With Disney’s superior tent-pole franchises and
BERLIN (Reuters) – SAP will try to allocate 5% of its procurement spending to social enterprises and diverse businesses by 2025 to encourage greater social and environmental responsibility.
The German software group, which has 440,000 clients, appealed on Tuesday to other companies to join it in supporting small businesses owned and run by women or minorities.
SAP’s procurement initiative follows its launch in June of a product to help firms track greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains, backing a view that being transparent about their carbon footprint will be good for business.
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The new initiative relates to so-called addressable spend, the share of a company’s procurement budget that can be allocated to social or diverse enterprises, which in SAP’s case equated to up to $60 million a year.
“We all need soap in our washrooms, landscaping for our offices, food and drink in our cafeterias, marketing services and office supplies. These and many more are all products and services provided by social enterprises and diverse businesses,” SAP board member Adaire Fox-Martin said.
“This is money we are spending anyway. Why not spend it with suppliers who are delivering social impact as well?”
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alexander Smith)
Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Report said it would invest $1 billion to build three data centers in greater Athens and by 2025 would train 100,000 people in Greece in digital technologies.
The announcement comes after nine months of negotiations with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Redmond, Wash., software giant said.
“By a substantial margin, this is the largest investment Microsoft has made in Greece in the 28 years we have been operating here,” President Brad Smith said, speaking at the New Acropolis Museum in Greece.
“In part, this reflects confidence that our world-leading data-center technology can help enable innovation and growth across Greece’s economy.”
Greece’s data centers will join the company’s current 63-region global cloud infrastructure network. The network makes Microsoft Azure cloud services available in more than 140 countries.
Microsoft’s plan to add 100,000 private-sector jobs to the Greek economy comes as the country is expected to see its economy contract by an estimated 8.2% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government budget submitted to parliament Monday.
Nearly two years ago, Greece emerged from eight years of international bailout programs and austerity measures meant to reduce its debt load.
The spending cuts and tax increases sent unemployment rising and caused its GDP to slump nearly 25%.
This year, Greece’s debt is projected to reach 337 billion euros, or nearlry triple its gross domestic product.
“It is a long-term investment and a vote of confidence in our country’s potential,” Mitsotakis said.
“The cloud is transforming every industry and sector. The investment in skilling 100,000 citizens will empower today and tomorrow’s Greek workforce.”
At last check Microsoft shares were trading up 1.3% at $208.90.
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