Unity China officially formed to cope with tightening data handling regulations
Game engine Unity Technologies announced today that it will establish Unity China to oversee operations across the Greater China region.
The joint venture, valued at US$1 billion, counts several big names among its investors, including e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, Genshin Impact’s developer Mihoyo, and TikTok’s sister app Douyin, as well as state-owned telecom giant China Mobile, Unity said on its WeChat account.
Investors will help Unity in various ways, including bringing it into new industries, expanding its presence in gaming market, providing marketing support, and more.
The San Francisco-based game development platform will retain the majority ownership and control of the Chinese JV.
Current Greater China general manager Zhang Junbo will now lead Unity China as its president and chief executive officer. An executive board from Unity, together with key investor representatives, will oversee the JV.
Later this month, Unity China will begin serving local clients and creators as the official distributor of Unity’s products and services in the nation. Also, the JV has said that it would start developing localized versions of its main products for game creators.
According to the announcement, Unity Ads will not be included in the JV’s business scope, it will continue to be managed by Unity’s global team.
The establishment of the JV comes days after Reuters reported Unity was considering spinning off its China unit.
With China tightening data handling regulations, Unity believes a spin-off would aid this expansion as it would give the unit more local ownership and autonomy over how it operates in the country, which could also increase its attraction to local government and state-owned partners, said the report.
Entered China in 2012, Unity powers many of the country’s most popular games such as “Honor of Kings” from gaming leader Tencent and miHoYo’s “Genshin Impact” through its game engine software Unity.
Last month, Zhang, who was just appointed as the CEO of Unity China, revealed the company’s expansion plans in China to local tech media 36Kr, saying that the Chinese market is large enough and has many differences from other markets, and that Unity is exploring ways to make its technology “safe and controllable” to keep up with the evolvement of this market.