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Chengdu, China – Chengdu, a city with a population of 14 million located in southwest China and dubbed one of the “World’s Fastest Growing Cities in the Next Decade” by Forbes Magazine, has come into the spotlight thanks to the emergence of world-class mobile application entrepreneurs.
On May 17, 2012, the App Store issued the list of the top 100 App distributors in terms of revenue for the month of April, where two iPhone App developers in Chengdu lead the domestic Apps market outshining the traditional Chinese software development hubs like Beijing and Shanghai. Tap4Fun, the producer of Galaxy Empire, leads the ranking among China’s App development companies with a total income of US$1,130,000. LV1, another Chengdu based startup, is ranked third in China with an income of US$480,000 for the same period.
In October 2011, Chengdu based Tap4Fun launched Galaxy Empire, an iOS online game, which rapidly became a best seller, ranking first in revenue on the App store in seven different countries including the US, Germany, Italy and Denmark. Galaxy Empire follows the success of Camera 360, a camera application, which was developed by Chengdu based PinGuo and is the number one mobile camera application in China and North America since June 2011. As of today, Camera 360 counts over 40 million users and was selected as one of the 100 Best Products in 2011 by PC World Magazine. PinGuo received three rounds of investment by institutional investors, which is rarely seen among China’s technology startups.
Chengdu Ikamobile is another company that grabbed the attention of renowned VCs after it successfully launched the iPhone version of Hotel Finder. This application was ranked first among travel apps only a week after it went live, achieving dozens of thousands of downloads in a month’s time. Lee Kai-Fu’s Innovation Works invested in Ikamobile in October 2011.
Last but not least, Seven Stars 3D, an online game developed by a company in Chengdu, was ranked first in the free apps on the App Store in November 2011. Its WP7 version was recommended on the homepage banner by Microsoft Marketplace on May 10.
These mobile applications “created in Chengdu” have the same birthplace – Chengdu Tianfu Software Park, the largest tech park in Asia. “We have more than 100 teams working in the mobile internet field in our park, either big names such as Ubisoft, Myriad, Sina, Lenovo or startups such asTap4Fun and Good Team Studio. They are creating a large number of amazing products of many kinds, especially in the mobile gaming field,” said Victor Jansson, the vice president of Chengdu Tianfu Software Park. “And this is due to the large talent pool in the gaming industry. Currently Chengdu has become the preferred destination for Top 25 Gaming companies like Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Gameloft, Shanda Interactive, Perfect World, as well as Tencent, Kingsoft for establishing R&D centers in China just behind Shanghai. In July 2011, the social game The Smurfs & Co developed by Ubisoft Chengdu, set a new record by adding 4 million new active users in the first month; it is one of the fastest growing games on Facebook.”
Chengdu’s mobile App developers are growing with astonishing momentum, thanks to a mature local IT and software industry and large talent pool. Currently, 13 of the world’s 20 best software enterprises including Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Symantec, Ericsson, Cisco, EMC, Nokia Siemens Networks and Oracle have already settled in Chengdu. In recent years, the total revenue of software and information technology services industry in Chengdu has kept an annual growth rate in excess of 35%. Until December 2011, Chengdu has more than 1,000 software companies employing over 150,000 people.
Image Courtesy of NewChengdu