Aug 2, 2021|

JD Big Data: Five Consumption Trends in China’s E-Sports


by Vivian Yang

JD Big Data institute released a set of e-sports consumption data on July 30th in conjunction with China’s largest gaming event ChinaJoy 2021. Five trends emerged from the latest data, reflecting Chinese consumers’ fast-growing interests in this market.

Strong growth across all categories

According to JD’s big data, China’s e-sports and gaming hardware products achieved over 50% sales growth in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period last year, with strong growth momentum seen in all key categories across gaming laptops, PCs and mobile phones.

Gaming laptops outshined the others in terms of market demand. The top 5 best-selling gaming laptop brands are Lenovo, ASUS, HP, MECHREVO and DELL; and the fastest growing brands in this category are Xiaomi, MACHENIK, Razer and Alienware, reaching quadruple growth rate in some cases.

Preferences of different age groups

Nintendo holds firm as China’s best-selling game consoles, whereas Sony’s PS5 topped the ranks in terms of transaction volume.

Playstation and Xbox continue to lead the mainstream of family computers. Switch and PSP take the lead in the handheld console market, while Chinese brands like Xiao Ba Wang, CoolBaby, PowKiddy are dominating the middle and low-end market.

JD’s survey also observed that consumers under 26 years old showed the strongest preference for Nintendo Switch. This age group has a preference score 1.5 and 3 times higher than people age between 26-35 and 36-46 respectively. Xbox wins more hearts of people older than 35 years old, and Playstation has a more evenly distributed preference among different age groups, with higher tendency from people between 30-35.

Female Gamers on the Rise

There’s a clear gender inclination in gaming products. JD’s data showed that 80% of PlayStation and Xbox are bought by male users. In comparison, Nintendo draws more female users as it offers more games for family fun. About 40% of Nintendo consoles are bought by women, and many men also claimed that they bought them as gifts for their girlfriends.

As more and more women are plugging in and turning onto games, Nintendo has introduced a variety of tailored products for female gamers, such as Dancing Dreamer, Ring Fit Adventure, and its neon pink and neon green editions.

Market Penetration

On the aspect of geographical distribution, gaming laptops are gaining wide popularity across the country, with customers from central China areas like Zhengzhou, Changsha, Chongqing, etc., emerging with strong demand.

People from Beijing, Wuhan and cities in east China purchased the most high-end gaming PCs. People from coastal regions in east China are also buying more gaming phones.  Meanwhile, data shows that orders from consumers living in lower-tier markets in central and western regions for professional e-sports electronics such as computer mouse, keyboards and earphones are quickly increasing.

At the same time, gears of superstar e-sports teams are driving the sales and fashion of gaming products. During the recent game season, many equipment displayed during the game season are actively sought after, including JDG team’s gaming chairs and aseaT, FPX team’s Sensei Ten mouse and (G) PRO X7.1 earphone, and VG team’s (CHERRY)MX8.0 mechanical keyboards and HONOR HUNTER V700 gaming laptops and more.

Single Vs Married Game Shoppers

It’s not surprising to find that single men bought more gaming products than those who have tied the knot. As explained above, most PlayStation and Xbox are ordered by single men, while Switch users showed a more balanced marriage status.

Comparing to single men who buy gaming products, married men spent much less in this category.

A closer look of the expenditures split between the purposes of family use and self-use among married people who ever bought gaming products, the ratio is 50-50 for women and 40-60 for men. The good sign in this perhaps is that more and more women are buying things for themselves, and married men have manifested stronger family responsibility, not necessarily indicating that they cannot afford to spend more on games.