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Ways to Play China's Online Gaming Sector

Think big if you're serious about investing in virtual fun and games.

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The online gaming industry in China has grown at warp-speed during the last five years, expanding at a compound annual rate of 50% to CNY 32.7 billion (approximately $5 billion) in 2010, according to third-party researcher iResearch. Rising Internet penetration, falling monthly rates for always-on broadband access, and an explosion of titles have made online gaming an attractive and affordable form of entertainment for tens of millions of young Internet users in China.

Gamers, typically in their teens and 20s and often an only child, seek refuge from their hectic real lives and build friendships in the virtual world by hunting treasures, battling villains, and performing other heroic acts. Over the years, gaming sites have built a massive following in China, which, according to the latest report from the official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), included approximately 304 million consumers at the end of 2010, or 66.5% of the Internet user population in China.

Dan Su does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.