China’s e-sports market revenue grew by 14% year-on-year in 2021 despite the challenges of regulating sports in the world’s second-largest economy, according to a new report from intelligence firm Niko Partners.

E-sports refers to professional sports where players often play against each other in large tournaments and fans watch via live streams.

China remains the world’s largest e-sports market with $403.1 million in revenue in 2021, Niko Partners said in a report published Thursday.

“What China has [a] opportunities in e-sport, it is a very large market with many players who like e-sport… Sponsors, told CNBC “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday.

China continues to grow despite a tough line on gaming from regulators. Last year, Beijing enacted laws limiting the amount of time under-18s can play video games online – to three hours a week.

Chinese authorities have also suspended the approval of new games for distribution and monetization between July 2021 and April this year.

The results have been felt by major Chinese gaming companies NetEase and Tencent.

Although the e-sports market is booming, Champlin warned that there could be consequences for the future of professional sports in China.

“What these rules do especially for youth sports is very difficult for e-sports. Therefore, although there is a lot of excitement about the titles of sports, popular in e-sports, we are a little worried about what we can do. This will help future generations of fans. e-sports and professional e-sports…

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Despite the serious violation of young people playing sports, it seems that the government is supporting e-sports. Last year, the great city of Shanghai settled on a 500,000 square meter stadium.

Japan and South Korea are the other two major markets in Asia for e-sports revenue.

Although China continues to dominate, there are other regions and countries that are growing rapidly.

E-sports revenue in Southeast Asia will reach $80.1 million in 2021, up 27.3% year-on-year. India saw e-sport revenue grow to $20.3 million last year, a 26% increase over 2020.

“I am [India] a large market and previously not considered a dollar figure for participants,” Champlin said.

“What this means is that the purchasing power of Indians is increasing, because the market is more saturated with mobile phones, the potential players and the audience is increasing. The Indian gaming market,” he added.

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