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Nintendo predicts tough expansion into China despite Tencent partnership

Nintendo predicts tough expansion into China despite Tencent partnership

May 9, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Last month, Nintendo partnered up with Tencent to bring the Switch to China, but in a recent investor Q&A the company said that finding a foothold in the country's booming video game market will be anything but easy. 

Speaking to investors, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa admitted that previous attempts to make headway in China with the launch of handhelds like the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS fell notably flat. 

Those devices were sold in China through Nintendo's own subsidiary iQue, which is why this time Nintendo has joined forced with Chinese juggernaut Tencent -- a local company with a knack for helping others find their footing in the region.

Still, even with Tencent's backing, Furukawa has tempered any expectations of immediate success for the Switch on Chinese soil, and claims it's unlikely the company's efforts in China will have an immediate financial impact. 

"We recognize that the Chinese market is vast and attractive, but looking forward, we don't expect our video game business in China to easily expand, given that our primary markets for dedicated video game consoles, Japan, the Americas, and Europe have been built over the course of more than 30 years," commented Furukawa. 

"The launch timing for Nintendo Switch in China is not yet determined, so nothing in this area has been included in the financial forecast for the current fiscal year (ending March 2020). However, even if it were to be included, we would not anticipate it having a significant effect on overall financial results for this fiscal year.

"Discussions about expanding in China at this point are just one part of our larger approach for addressing a gaming population that is expanding widely, not just in our current primary markets. This is not a short-term plan, but something we want to work on steadily over multiple years."

You can hear more tidbits from Furukawa by checking out the full investor Q&A right here.

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