Business / Macro

Children toy with new forms of leisure

By Shen Jingting, Chen Limin and Gao Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-28 08:01

There are numerous interesting mobile applications showcased on electronic devices such as iPads and iPhones. "Applications are the core content and play a vital role in attracting children's attention," said Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based industry insider.

"If there is no application, electronic products are like empty boxes," he added. Application developers for Apple's iOS platform have designed diversified software to entertain children and enable them to play and learn.

"Poetry apps teach children to read and recite poems written during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Music apps amuse children by singing songs. Game apps create scenarios for play and to encourage competition with each other," Xiang said.

A mobile device such as an iPad provides multiple functions in children's lives - it's a teacher, a playmate and, sometimes, a close relative, he added.

Data from Fujian-based game application developer platform showed that the download number of apps developed for children on Apple Inc's iOS platform was hitting 40 million a month in late 2012.

The download number was fewer than 20 million times a month in May 2012.

Chinese developers are making all kinds of apps to feed the increasing demand.

In November, Yashili Group Co, China's top dairy product manufacturer, released a free game app on iOS and Android platforms, making the company one of the first milk powder makers in the country to launch game software.

The Guangdong-based company believes the initiative will win the hearts of children, resulting in their parents spending more on Yashili's products.

Gaming online

Every day when primary school student Tian Xiaolei finishes his homework, his parents allow him to spend 45 minutes online playing video games as a reward for his straight As at school. It is "the only moment in a day" that the 11-year-old can sit back and not worry about school work.

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