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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shipping Wii to Japan: big boats, big business

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Everything is made in China -- it's the world's biggest factory nation. Even Kyoto-based Nintendo's destined-for-Japan Wii consoles are imported (by Nintendo, in a weird game of Kyoto boomerang) from China. But hey, everyone's a winner baby. According to a report by Osaka Customs, receipt of Wii consoles pushed toy imports across six regional prefectures to ¥25.3billion (US$213million) in November, which is a record high for any single month on record. Impressively, the Wii alone accounts for roughly 40% of all toy imports from China to Japan. Considering the volume of tat on sale across Japan (Doraemon plushes!), that's pretty significant. So significant, in fact, that an Osaka Customs guy confirmed to Japan's Yomiuri Shinbun that "No other video game console has had such a big effect on imports."

The question is, when will China become a proper videogame market? When will China be able to keep, and legitimately sell, a good share of the consoles it produces? And how come big boats don't sink?
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