The Chinese-American virtual trade gap


The United States' well known trade imbalance with our future Chinese overlords is now reaching all the way into the virtual goods economy, where China has a 5-to-1 advantage over the U.S. in in-game product sales according to a recent CNN article. China's 70 million online gamers are spending over $5 billion a year on virtual goods, compared to just roughly $1 billion in annual virtual goods sales for American social games, according to the article.

China's bigger population only explains part of the difference, according to the piece. Chinese game makers are well ahead of Americans in allowing players to easily purchase small, impulse buy items and virtual currency with their cell phones. The focus on virtual goods is also more of a necessity for Chinese game makers because of stagnant internet advertising rates.

Patriotic American gamers can take solace in the fact that we're still better at basketball.

Originally published