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Game on as eSports companies expand businesses

Zhu Shenshen
Top games companies, including FunPlus and Riot Games, have set up headquarters and a research center in Shanghai, thanks to the city's improved business environment.
Zhu Shenshen

Top games companies, including FunPlus and Riot Games, have set up headquarters and research centers in Shanghai, thanks to the city's improved business environment and efforts to become the global eSports capital, Shanghai Daily learned during the ongoing ChinaJoy event.

Shanghai ranked the top position for eSports business environment, followed by Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and Haikou, according to a report released during ChinaJoy, or the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, Asia's biggest games fair. 

Game on as eSports companies expand businesses
Ti Gong

China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference delegates.

FunPlus has set up an independent firm, QuJia Entertainment, located in Xuhui District, targeting the Chinese market with games, investment, eSports and culture business. 

Riot Games, developer of the League of Legends (LOL), will establish its global research center in Jing'an District, firms and officials told an eSports forum of ChinaJoy.

"Shanghai's game industry rises again with top-level firms and great business environment on talent and IP (intellectual property)," Chen Yulin, QuJia Entertainment's president, said in a sideline interview. 

In a new industry report, Shanghai's game industry index reached 79.0 points, followed by Guangzhou's 71.5 points and Beijing's 69.8 points. 

The index covers infrastructure, policy, talent and other business environment sectors for game development, according to the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, a nation-level origination authorized by the industry regulator. 

Since 2017, Shanghai has launched "50 Measures" to support game and culture development. 

They include attracting game and culture companies, increasing the number of eSports venues, holding top events, setting up eSports majors in colleges and accelerating application and approval procedures for related publications.

With dual growth engines as AI and Art, Xuhui District supports industry integration among games, eSports, AI, science, art and media development. It's establishing a complete eSports ecosystem with new projects in Xujiahui and West Bund, said Wu Yanxin, vice director of the Publicity Department of Xuhui District. 

Between 2018 and 2020, Xuhui supported 439 culture and innovation projects. It's home to headquarters and regional centers for giants like Tencent, NetEase, miHoyo, Giant, Yoozoo and now QuJia Entertainment.

Game on as eSports companies expand businesses
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

Chen Yulin, QuJia's president, attended a meeting during ChinaJoy. The company is headquartered in Xuhui District. 

Founded a decade ago, FunPlus used to focus on international markets, with several hundred million users in more than 200 countries and regions. 

It has already set up an eSports club and a culture digitalization platform in Shanghai. As a strategy for FunPlus to focus on  business in the Chinese market, QuJia Entertainment will provide users unique content.

Riot Games' planned global R&D center in Shanghai will leverage the city's resources in infrastructure and talent. 

The company held the 10th season of the LPL World Championship, or S10, in Shanghai last year. During his visit to Shanghai in October, Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games, called Shanghai "a global eSports capital city".

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