The people working at this clandestine locale are "gold farmers." Every day, in 12-hour shifts, they "play" computer games by killing onscreen monsters and winning battles, harvesting artificial gold coins and other virtual goods as rewards that, as it turns out, can be transformed into real cash.
"It's unimaginable how big this is," says Chen Yu, 27, who employs 20 full-time gamers here in Fuzhou. "They say that in some of these popular games, 40 or 50 percent of the players are actually Chinese farmers."
Rich driving mobile growth from the BBC:
China's increasingly wealthy middle classes and tech savvy youngsters are the main reasons why companies, including Nokia and Motorola, have invested billions of dollars in establishing manufacturing and distribution networks across the Chinese mainland.
In 2004, the Chinese purchased 92 million mobile phones, an increase of 15.8% over 2003, making China the largest mobile phone market in the world.
Bear Sterns initiates coverage of Chinese Gaming companies:
- Bear’s top pick: NetEase (ticker: NTES).
- Maintains “Outperform” Rating on The9 (ticker: NCTY).
- Downgrades Shanda Interactive (ticker: SNDA) to “Underperform”.