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November 3, 2009

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Shanda's revenue rise to outpace industry

SHANDA Games Ltd, China's top video game company, has said its revenue growth over the next five years would continue to outpace the industry.

Shanda CEO Diana Li also told a media briefing over the weekend that the company's 18 Fund investment unit would step up its efforts to acquire established online game companies as well as investing in and supporting early-stage online game products.

"Over the next five years, average (annual) growth in China's online game industry will be 18.4 percent, and globally it will be 17.7 percent," Li said. "Our company's growth will exceed this average pace."

Her industry estimates indicated a marked slowdown from the sector's recent rapid growth.

The Chinese online game industry's sales last year surged 76.6 percent from a year earlier to 18.38 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion), and a Chinese government official estimated in July that it would expand 30 percent to 50 percent this year to 24 billion to 27 billion yuan.

Li said Shanda would also expand into overseas markets, such as the United States, with a relatively large population and a growing online game market, although it would move cautiously. She did not give a figure for the company's overseas revenue this year but said it was still small, in the tens of millions, while up about seven-fold from last year.

Li added that the 18 Fund had invested US$500 million in more than 40 projects in the three years since its establishment. Some of those are already preparing to list their shares publicly.

The fund plans to invest at least another US$500 million over the next three years in at least 40 more projects.

Shanda Games, carved out of China media company Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, completed the first billion-dollar US IPO in 17 months in September.



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