China Esports Annual Development Report 2021: Market Size of Domestic Esports Industry to Reach $27.36 Billion

The Second Beijing International College Student Esports Festival, co-organized by China’s leading game live streaming company Huya Inc. and the Communication University of China, kicked off on Wednesday. From December 17-19, 2021, the top teams composed of college students from four divisions of China will compete for this year’s esports championship in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

An in-depth report, China Esports Annual Development Report 2021, was also released at the College Student Esports Festival. This report analyzes the current status and characteristics of China’s esports industry and provides an outlook for the industry’s future development.

According to the report, the market size of China’s esports industry is anticipated to grow 130.8% year-on-year to reach 173.6 billion yuan ($27.36 billion) in 2021, and is set to further expand in the coming years. With the growing maturity of the Chinese esports industry, more and more esports-related policies and regulations are in place, providing unprecedented opportunities for the continuing optimization of the esports ecosystem.

However, according to the report, the Chinese esports industry is still at an early stage of development, and the relevant industrial chain is not yet fully formed. Issues such as uneven development of esports enterprises, lack of core technological capabilities, insufficient awareness relating to copyrights, unbalanced regional development and the need to improve esports training system, have emerged.

Regarding the fostering of esports talent in China, Duan Peng, Vice President of Communication University of China, contended, “Currently China’s esports talent development faces some issues, for example, the training system needs to be further improved, the practice-focused education needs to be enriched… and the social recognition for esports needs to be increased. Universities and the esports sector enterprises should join hands to strengthen the integration of industry-university-research (IUR) cooperation.”

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Li Meng, Senior Vice President of Huya, added, “Cooperation with prestigious universities such as Communication University of China, will help foster the in-depth integration of IUR cooperation, and promote the innovative and high-quality development of the esports industry.” In his view, the esports industry is playing an increasingly important role in shaping the image of China’s esports hubs, enhancing urban vitality and boosting the development of the digital economy.

Last November, Huya and the Communication University of China announced their strategic cooperation to jointly establish an Esports Research Center, aimed at driving the development of esports talent while improving the collaboration between the enterprise’s esports development and the university’s research and education.

Over the past few years, Huya has continuously consolidated its esports content ecosystem through acquiring exclusive media rights, signing streaming deals for top professional teams, and producing quality in-house esports tournaments and programs, which thus have strengthened its core competitiveness in the esports live streaming sector.