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Tencent Pulls DnF Mobile from Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo App Stores

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jun 21, 2024

Tencent Pulls DnF Mobile from Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo App Stores

Tencent Holdings has withdrawn its newly released game, Dungeon & Fighter (DnF) Mobile, from the app stores of Huawei Technologies, Oppo, and Vivo due to the expiration of their contracts.

The removal was announced in a notice from the game’s operating team on Wednesday, and it took effect from Thursday, June 20. The notice follows reports from the 21st Century Business Herald, which cited anonymous sources in detailing the contractual disputes.

Alternative Download Options for Android Users

The game’s operating team has advised new Android users to download DnF Mobile directly from its official website due to “adjustments in our cooperation with certain app stores,” ensuring users could still participate in a major game update scheduled for Thursday. Despite the removal from specific app stores, the game remains accessible through other channels.

History of Disputes Between Tencent and App Stores

This incident marks another significant dispute between Tencent, a global leader in video gaming by revenue, and app store operators in mainland China. These platforms often take commissions up to 50% of a game’s revenue, highlighting the financial tensions underlying such disagreements.

A previous notable conflict surfaced publicly on January 1, 2021, when Huawei removed Tencent’s games from its app store due to similar contract issues. However, the games were reinstated after a few hours following “friendly negotiations” between Huawei and Tencent, though no specific reasons for the dispute or its resolution were disclosed by either company.

How Has DnF Mobile’s Removal Affected the Market?

The absence of DnF Mobile from the app stores of Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo is notable given the game’s rapid success and the significant market share these vendors command in the Chinese smartphone market.

For instance, at the time of the 2021 dispute, Huawei alone accounted for 43% of China’s domestic smartphone market, and the removal of Tencent games had a profound impact on users accustomed to accessing popular titles like Honour of Kings through these platforms.

Moreover, DnF Mobile has demonstrated considerable commercial success, quickly topping Tencent’s flagship titles in daily revenues on Apple’s mainland China App Store following its domestic release last month.

According to data from the Chinese app analytics platform Qimai, DnF Mobile is projected to generate about 6 billion yuan (approximately US$827 million) in revenue within its first year, despite the broader video gaming sector experiencing a slowdown. This slowdown was evident in Tencent’s first-quarter results, which showed a 2% year-on-year decline in revenue to 34.5 billion yuan.

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Featured Image courtesy of Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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