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9You is something of a portal, offering games in every category (casual, hardcore and mobile) as well as some social networking tools and an assortment of unrelated services. It reports having over 120 million registered users, a bit under half of the country’s entire internet population.
Many US casual gaming companies have an eye on cracking the Chinese market, but by the time they get around to it, they may well need to operate through partnerships with companies like 9You.
Temasek, by the way, is the investment arm of Singapore’s government, with over $150 billion in assets. Over the years it has put money into shipping, banking and other major industries, but has recently become more interested in internet investments.
Given the investment size and the growth of traffic to 9You, it’s probable the company will aim for an IPO later this year or early in 2009. Because gaming is important in the Chinese internet market, the company may well become one of the country’s biggest internet destinations thereafter.
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