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China’s State Carriers to Cooperate on Mobile Games

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- China’s three state-run carriers will jointly publish as many as 100 mobile-phone games by the end of next year, according to a vice president at China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd.

China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom and China Telecom Corp. are aiming to achieve 1 million yuan ($160,000) in sales for each title, Liu Yang said at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing today. The carriers will have a joint rating system for games in the world’s biggest smartphone market, he said.

The carriers are cooperating to capture more mobile gaming as China eases a ban on consoles that has been in place since 2000. The relaxation of rules has triggered a push by domestic and international manufacturers for a share of a market that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimates may be worth $10 billion in sales next year.

“We are the best channel for distribution with a combined 310 million users of mobile games,” Liu said. “The China market for mobile games is fiercely competitive.”

Microsoft Corp. will begin selling its Xbox One in China in September, teaming with BesTV New Media Co., a unit of Shanghai Media Group Inc., the company said last month.

TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd. last month said it will make a game player, and ZTE Corp. announced plans for its Fun Box in March. Japan’s Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. are also weighing Chinese entries.

The carriers also are competing for consumer attention with Internet companies Tencent Holdings Ltd., Baidu Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., all of which are trying to boost revenue through games and online shopping as they seek the attentions of China’s 618 million Internet users surfing for content.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net Robert Fenner, Suresh Seshadri

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