The most popular Chinese mobile Karaoke app Changba recently launched Changba Xiaofeixia, a mobile game customized for its users by partnering with Chinese game developer Rekoo.

Gaming has been one of the most profitable Internet services and one of the few Chinese users would like to spend money on in China. Free Chinese Internet service providers always made revenues by channeling a portion of users to games developed in-house or by partner developers.

The revenue model of Tencent’s has been modeled by a generation of Chinese Internet services. The Chinese Internet giant began monetizing its free online instant messaging service users with virtual item sales and then would come up with premium subscriptions along the way. But gaming would become its biggest revenue source after the company started licensing online games and building a team form game development. Till today, more than 50% of the company’s total revenue is from games. If adding the gaming-related items included in premium subscriptions — for instance, users can opt to pay ten yuan or so (a little more than one dollar) per month for some in-game items in various games, the total revenue from gaming could account for 70% as a percentage as estimated by some industry insiders.

Changba, a free app, has had 140 million registered users since the launch no more than two years ago, with 40 million monthly active and 6 million daily active, its CEO Chen Hua disclosed earlier this month.

The app started monetization one year ago with virtual gifts. It’s no surprise premium subscriptions similar to Tencent’s would be launched later.

The company has had a dedicated team for mobile game publishing. The chosen games, according to Chen Hua, must be based on the fact that the majority of users on Changba are young and over 50% are female, or other analytic results on the user base. Rather than introduce games that would land on various platforms, Changba prefers to develop custom games tailored to its users with third-party developers or license exclusive games which may not stand out on bigger platforms like Tencent’s or Qihoo 360’s.

The first Changba game is for free to download but charges in-game items. It’s a running game that has two characters designed after two popular Changba users who have a large number of fans. It got one million downloads in one week after the launch, according to the company.

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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