The company behind some of China's most popular multiplayer Internet games is making a stateside push in acquiring California-based Mochi Media in an $80 million cash and stock deal. It's a good move on Shanda's part. Mochi is drawing a sizable audience for its Flash-based online games. With 140 million monthly active users, Mochi's 15,000 browser-based games are clearly resonating in cyberspace.
However, Shanda buying Mochi gets the hypocrisy-o-meter whirling, given recent developments in the world's most populous nation. Chinese gaming stocks have been kept in check in recent months, after regulators began cracking down on game content and foreign ownership.
So is that it? American developers can't buy into Chinese companies, but China's darlings can swallow stateside companies whole?
To be fair, Shanda Games is legally based in the Cayman Islands. Chinese parent Shanda Interactive
This move may open the eyes of Chinese regulators, perhaps unaware of the potential that China's most promising online gaming specialists may find abroad. Just as NetEase.com
Regulatory hurdles haven't entirely derailed the industry. Changyou.com
Are you worried about the future of online gaming in China? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a fan of China's high-margin gaming stocks for a long time. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.