It has been reported by Reuters that Taiwan-based electronics company ASUS plans to invest $16m (£11.5m) to set up a cultural and media firm in China, with plans to be predominantly involved in professional esport business operations.
Asus CFO Nick Wu said the “subsidiary will see esports as its major business pillar as well as focusing on expansion in Chinese esports ecosystem,” in a report from Yutang Sports.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen added that their businesses will not be limited to esports-based sales of products including personal computers, display devices and smartphones. The company aims to create its own esports industry chains and ecosystem.
China has an estimated 72 million esports enthusiasts, presenting a great opportunity for investment in the industry. According to ASUS’ latest annual report (covering 2016), Chinese market revenues are equal to roughly 18% of the company’s total yearly revenues, equating to approximately $14.5bn (£10.4bn).
As part of its new Chinese esports project, ASUS launched the Rogue Warriors esports team in December 2017. The team will compete in the League of Legends Pro League, and it is expected that ASUS will also create an affiliate team based in Taiwan.
ASUS esports’ involvement and interest has been apparent for several years now, including partnerships with over 20 teams, including SK Telecom T1, Echo Fox and NRG Esports. They even hosted an international CS:GO and Dota 2 tournament in 2017, with a prize pool worth a combined $500,000 (£360,000).
The plans follow a strong year for Chinese esports, trailing the news that Tencent secured exclusive rights to PUBG in China, as well as the company’s plan to create a $14.6bn (£10.5bn) esports market in the country.
Esports Insider says: With ASUS’ long and storied record in esports, it is both promising and unsurprising to see them making another huge investment into the space. It will be interesting to see exactly how they utilise their past experiences in esports to create a business model that is effective and profitable for all parties involved.