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Study Defines Asian Online Gaming Market

NetValue (www.netvalue.com), an Internet measurement company, released a new study of online gaming in Asia, focusing on the growth of games sites traffic, the profile of online gamers and the top gaming sites across the region.

The study revealed that Korea has the largest percentage of online gaming, with 65 percent of all Internet users visiting games Web sites in January 2001. This figure has risen steadily over the past 4 months and represents a 10 percent increase since October 2000. Hong Kong falls a distant second, at 39.8 percent in January, followed by Taiwan at 34.2 percent. Singapore and China are at the bottom end with 29 percent and 20.9 percent respectively.

Founded in France in 1998, NetValue S.A. currently owns panels in Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. NetValue Limited, a subsidiary headquartered in Hong Kong, owns panels in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

According to the company, the data is collected through panels that are recruited by market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres globally, and Central Viewer Survey and Consulting Center in China. Once recruited, panelists download NetValue's proprietary technology, NetMetera, onto their home computers, enabling NetValue to capture Internet activity including Web usage, e-mail, chat, file transfers, audio and video downloading, and instant messaging.

Other interesting findings of the study include profiles of online gamers: in Asia, online gamers tend to be male, 24 years in age or under and predominantly students. However in Korea, online gamers are almost equally represented by males (55.3 percent) and females (44.7 percent).

A finding that differentiates the Asian market, relates to the length of time the users have been connected to the Net. In Taiwan and Korea — 42.1 percent, and 31.5 percent respectively — of users who played games online were late adopters, first connecting to the Internet as late as 2000. According to NetValue, in the other markets surveyed, the majority of online gamers had connected to the Internet prior to 1997.

Clayton Fitts, vice president of Sales and Marketing at NetValue, commented on these findings in a statement, "Korea has developed very quickly and while much of its Internet population is still very 'young' [consisting of mainly late adopters], they are showing very advanced usage behavior such as playing online games. This is evidence that broadband speeds up the e-learning curve for Internet users. The popularity of the games sector in Asia has shown strong signs of growth over the past few months — Korea is clearly leading the way with Taiwan and Hong Kong building up steadily."

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