China plans invest 15 billion yuan (about 1.8 billion US dollars) to develop 100 kinds of online games with independent property rights in the next five years, the Shanghai Youth reported.
Yu Yongzhan, deputy director with the Press and Publication Administration of China (PPAC), was quoted as saying that the PPAC will make joint efforts with other government departments to speed up the construction of game software development centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou cities and Sichuan province where 10 to 30 home-made online game companies are expected to be launched within the next three years.
"This will give impetus to the growth of game industry across the country, " Yu was cited as saying.
The number of Internet users in China, the world's second-largest Internet market, grew by nine million in the first half of this year to reach 103 million.
The development represented an increase of 18.4 percent over the same period last year in a market that still has a vast potential for further growth, the China Daily reported on July 22.
The burgeoning online gaming market proved especially lucrative, with Internet gamers spending some four billion yuan (483 million dollars) on virtual equipment for their online alter-egos in the first six months.