China has overtaken the U.S. as the biggest spender in Apple’s iOS app store.
Mobile analytics and research firm App Annie said this week that Chinese consumers spent $1.7 billion on Apple-sanctioned mobile apps in the third quarter, or about 15% higher than the nearly $1.45 billion spent by Americans during the same period.
The U.S. market had led in Apple (AAPL) app store spending since 2010, according to the report.
The report’s authors said that more Chinese consumers are buying mobile video games than ever, specifically those considered to be “multiplayer collaborative games” in which people can play with or against other users. After video games, Chinese consumers are heavy buyers of entertainment and video-streaming apps like Tencent Video and Youku.
From the report:
In Q3 2016, Chinese consumers spent more than five times the amount they spent just two years prior in the iOS App Store. Furthermore, according to the App Annie Forecast, revenue growth is set to continue, with China projected to drive the largest absolute revenue growth for any country by 2020.
App Annie did not list the leading mobile games in the China market. It did, however, state the obvious by saying that the blockbuster mobile game Pokémon Go was a worldwide phenomenon.
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The game relies on a type of technology called augmented reality in which players try to capture digital creatures that are overlaid onto the real world with the help of the phone’s camera. The report’s authors said that Pokémon Go reached $600 million in sales “faster than any app to date.”
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“Pokémon Go wasn’t significantly borrowing time from other games, or apps for that matter,” the report said. “Rather, its innovative AR gameplay and iconic IP were compelling enough to convince users to spend more time overall on their mobile devices. “