Chinese Poker Tycoon Reaches $1bn Net Worth

The owner of Shanghai Yaoji Technology cracked nine figures in his net worth this week thanks to the success of his company’s mobile poker app. The stock price of SYT jumped significantly last week with a 10% gain, meaning that Yao Wenchen, with a 56% stake in the company, saw his net value climb over the $1bn threshold. The Chinese tycoon invested heavily in online gaming technology in 2011, before then, the primary source of income for Yaoji Technology was producing playing cards.

Man playing on an iPhone.

Mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors in the technology business, with the highest growth rates forecasted in the Asia Pacific region. Yaoji Technologies as a market leader in this space are expected to witness huge growth in 2020 and beyond. ©Chanzj/Pixabay

The firm still produces over 1 billion units of playing cards annually, but makes the majority of their revenues from the proceeds of their mobile poker game app. Over the last 12 months, Yaoji has seen its shares more than triple in value. In direct correlation with the booming Chinese online poker industry, the revenue gains have been accelerating for investors such as Yao Wenchen who were able to get on board early.

According to Forbes, Yao Wenchen’s stake in Yaoji Technology is worth $1.1bn. A substantial increase from his original investment, and one that serves as an excellent case study in investment, and corporate governance theory. Due to Wenchen’s successful leadership of Yaoji Technology, the firm is poised to venture to carve out new markets closely related to its mission of online mobile gaming. Currently, the firm makes the majority of its revenues in China, which is exposing them to industry-specific risks, and the goal of Wenchen in the next 12-months will be to diversify the product suite of Yaoji Technology to ensure their longevity and sustainability.

Yaoji Fortunes Booming Despite Online Poker Being Illegal in China

Despite online poker previously being outlawed in China, there have been significant profits yielded by companies with large investments in the space. Yaoji Technology is one such company with a stake in the proceeds of online mobile gaming, which as we’ve demonstrated, has deep ties to online poker.

Skirting the limitations of the law is not an easy task for the business. Whilst the product that Yaojia Technologies is not explicitly a poker game, as competitors do not win or lose money against each other. The product falls under the category of social gaming, and the boom of social gaming in China has been an unexpected blessing for Yaoji Technologies.

With the viral growth of their mobile social gaming app, which has deep connotations to poker, the firm is able to utilize the network effect on its platform to offer marketing slots and advertising opportunities for third-party firms. The booming popularity of their platform has resulted in massive gains for all stakeholders of the firm, and the recent announcement by Forbes that the man behind this operation has reached billionaire status is a massive reminder regarding the power of this industry.

The firm has had its success heavily attributed to the deep ties to the Chinese state. In particular, the favorable treatment granted to them from the Chinese financial regulatory services, as Mr. Smyth from CardsChat News reported.

After receiving permission from the Chinese securities regulator, Yaoji launched an IPO. Aiming to raise $55 million, the initial public offering allowed it to invest in online technology.Daniel Smyth Reporter, Cards Chat

Asia-Pacific Fastest Growing Region for Mobile Gaming

The future looks very bright for Yaoji Technology, as all analysts project the market they are in to continue achieving staggering year-on-year growth statistics. A report released by researchers at Market Research Future suggested that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the mobile gaming industry in Asia is set to exceed 13.2%. Although the growth rate projections for China and Japan remain somewhat unclear, the overall trend in Asia is definite, and mobile gaming growth projections are surging.

Of course, these projections have not gone unnoticed. European and American firms are aiming to take a piece of this new market. But for now, it is Asian gaming operators that are trying to expand their suite of services beyond the borders of Asia, with many setting high ambitions of expanding into Europe and America with new and innovative mobile gaming products.

An interesting aspect of the report suggests that social dabblers will begin to dominate, those being players who only play on a casual basis for small sums of money. This population of players is growing with an accelerating rate, and goes in part to explain the decisions of established professional poker platforms such as PokerStars putting more of an emphasis on games of luck, which has been an unpopular move to the pros. But with the analysts suggestions that this is the way the market is going, we can only expect more of the same from the gaming technology firms as they seek to capture large portions of this blossoming market.

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