China’s software industry has been wounded by the coronavirus outbreak, with sector-wide profit falling 13% in the first quarter.
The decline was mirrored by the most recent retail data, which shows household appliance sales also plummeted in double-digit percentages.
Revenue in China’s software industry was 1.4 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in the three months through March, down 6.2% from a year earlier. That reduced net profit to 166.7 bn yuan, down 13.1%, according to an announcement on Monday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Consumption in the world’s second-largest economy slid as millions of citizens were put under strict lockdown for two months to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The hit to the economy was registered a 16.8% shrinkage of Q1 GDP, the first contraction in generations.
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Overall sales of household appliances totalled over 120 billion yuan, down 35.8%, according to a report Monday by the China Electronics and Information Industry Development Research Institute.
The report showed that offline appliance sales dropped to nearly 58 billion yuan, while online sales reached 62.6 billion yuan, the first time that e-commerce sales had outweighed those from physical channels.
One consumer bright spot during the coronavirus has been the growth of online gaming, as millions of people shuttered in their homes turned to digital entertainment.
China’s games market saw revenue exceed 73 billion yuan in the first quarter, surging more than 25% quarter-on-quarter, an industry report said.
The solid growth came after the unprecedented outbreak forced millions of people to stay at home, according to a report jointly released by the Game Publishing Committee of China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association and global market research firm International Data Corporation.
The report noted that the mobile game market saw a visible surge, with the revenue swelling 46% year-on-year to 55.37 billion yuan.
E-sports games also reported robust growth, with the number of users expanding to 482 million, the report added.