The Alibaba-owned e-commerce giant Taobao revealed the number of its users looking for esports-related products had reached 100 million by the end of 2022. One third are those born after 2000 with female consumers accounting for more than 40%.
Gaming accessories such as headsets, stereos, keyboards and mice, as well as gaming phones and chairs, are among the most sought-after, and had doubled its growth year-on-year during the first quarter of 2023.
It is also understood that “the sense of immersing” is an emerging trend amongst China’s esports lovers. Equipment designed to enhance the gaming ambiance is seen to be in high demand, such as gaming atmosphere lights, esports space capsules, and projectors, that enable a more gripping playing scenario.
While male users remain dominant in the online market space, their female counterparts are catching up fast, according to Tmall New Lifestyle Outlook, a market analysis arm established by Taobao’s sister Tmall.
Unlike men who appreciate more technical advancements and the ability to enhance playing ambiance, products affording a “moony” virtual experience draw in more female users. This has brought out creations such as the “Seaview”-themed Matx PC gaming case and monitors with pink and purple hues to appeal to women.
The occurrence indicates that esports continues to have a strong foothold in the world’s largest esports market. This is despite a market downturn in 2022 with the industry’s overall revenue shrinking by 14.01% to 144.5 billion RMB (20.92 billion USD)- its first decline in five years, according to the 2022 China Esports Industry Report. Of which, gaming, which comprised of 81.52% of the total income, fell by 15.96% to 117.8 billion RMB (17.06 billion USD).
Offline esports competitions were being paused due to COVID lockdowns across the country and this is believed to have partly contributed to the downshift. However, confidence in gamers and sponsors’ enthusiasm has re-emerged since China reopened and esports is set to make its debut at this year’s Asia Games in September in Hangzhou, which is expected to reactivate China’s more than 480 million esports enthusiasts.