This piece of eye-candy came across the transom recently. If you enjoy cute Chinese girls, WoW, Coca-Cola and orcs, it's just the thing for you. Blizzard is localizing WoW for the Chinese audience. And it's a big audience.
For me, it brings up the realization that I have a pretty cursory knowledge of this extremely large country a few thousand miles west of me. I've visited Korea and Japan numerous times, and still have a hard time understanding what the heck is going on over there. China? Forget it.
Of course, if we take a *slightly* more expansive view of things, we know that China is a massive and growing global presence that must be reckoned with. China is probably going to be the world's largest consumer of energy, putting it on a political and economic (if not military) collision course with the United States.
The Chinese workforce has the potential to be the next Bangalore and then some--representing new threats to Western programmers and artists. As Cory has suggested, the demand for content in the next generation of console and PC games will far exceed the current capacity of developers to meet it: hey it's great that you can now do all of these things in games, except that, err, now you have to do all of these things in your games. You can almost hear EA_Spouse revving up. If the Chinese train their middle class to do the jobs (which seems likely), does this make that nation a threat to Western middle class game makers? Or does the potential of 1.3 billion new customers pretty much outweigh everything?
As Thomas Friedman argues, the world is flat. Is the virtual world flat as well? What do we make of China? And what do we make of Chinese gamers, now and in the future?