Your Favorite Board Games Have Come to China

I saw these board games on a recent trip to my local Carrefour supermarket.

Chinese Monopoly Chinese Monopoly (Beijing version) Chinese Life Chinese Risk Chinese Clue Scrabble

Makes sense; they’re all translated into Chinese except for Scrabble, because that just doesn’t work. [There are at least two Chinese adaptations of Scrabble, though, called Magi Compo and Chinese Squabble.]

Did you notice the price stickers? Yikes! In case you missed them:

Monopoly (地产大亨): 198 RMB
Monopoly, Beijing version (地产大亨,北京版): 349 RMB
Risk (大战役): 249 RMB
Life (人生之旅): 199 RMB
Clue (妙探寻凶): 169 RMB
Scrabble: 238 RMB

Still cheaper than back home? I’m not so sure… What do these game go for in the States these days?

Related: China Risk


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Hey John,
    I have bought a very respectable version of Monopoly called 强手大富翁 for 30 kuai on the side of the road. The roads are named for 唐老鸭 and other famous things. It’s a lot of fun, although it seems the paper bills are all counterfeit.

  2. Monopoly is like $10 or less at Target. Life you can buy for less than that even. I bought those two games, the biligual editions, for a niece and nephew in the states for Christmas. The prices were outrageous, but I sucked it up all for the cause of bringing cool presents from China.

  3. Monopoly goes for less than $12 here in the States (at least where I live).

  4. We had duplication of Monopoly late in 1980’s, called 强手, which I think was also under the copyright(?!). Not for a long time in 1990’s, more imitations appeared in street vendors’ (at that time, Communist China had few shopping mall), I remember it cost 5 RMB for an imitation in 1996 (Salary on average was 889 RMB).
    It was not easy to obtain the board games in 1990, so my cousin hand-made her first simple board game, using white paper and watercolor pen. :PYes, it’s my favorite.

  5. Scrabble in China?

    The box reveals that you do not put Hanzi on there, or Chinese at all for that matter. Too bad.

    Hanzi Srabble.
    What a learning tool that might be…

  6. Monopoly Beijing 75 per cent more expensive than Monopoly?

    Man, the prices of real state in Beijing are really rising with the Olympics…

  7. How much is bootleg Monopoly, on the streets?

    I bought a copy of Scrabble last time I was in the US. It was $12 or so. I’m tempted to get Risk. Amazon has it at $22 so the price, while outrageous, is at least comparable to the US’s.

  8. John,

    Did they also have Clue?

    Cheers, Boyce

  9. There’s a Chinese version of Careers out that’s pretty cheap, probably like 50 kuai… forget what they called it tho

  10. we’ve been having steady risk games for about a month now. it’s also a great way to learn chinese names of irrelevant territories from back in the day. come on, who doesn’t want to know that?

  11. I haven’t seen Monopoly, but Risk is about $40 in the states.

  12. Monoploy has been introduced to China for at least 12 years. I remembered the time I played with my buddies back in elementary school. Scrabble is about $18+shipping in the States.

  13. Used to play Monopoly (Chinese version) about 15 years ago, it may or may not be pirated… But it’s pretty much exact same game.

    You can probably buy a cheaper version of these games in other markets. When I was back in Shanghai last year I felt Carrefour to be way overpriced on a lot of things.

  14. So, on the Chinese version of Monopoly, can you draw a card from the Chance pile that says:

    “Your property has been selected by the central government for demolition in advance of the Olympic Games. Please remove all houses and hotels and collect $10”

  15. Matt, shouldn’t that card read, “Congratulations, your house has been selected for modernization. The urban management police arrive at your property and harmoniously evict you, your family, and your dog.”? 😉

    John, did you get a chance to look at the instruction manuals? I think the games are bilingual rather than Chinese-only. We’ve had them here in the Isetan department store in Tianjin since late last year.


    Looks like the average price is $20.00 shipped. There are tons of “editions” out there. i.e. San Francisco, Coca-Cola, Las Vegas, M&M’s, Star Wars… and now the Chinese edition.

    The way I see it, the prices you listed reflect the exponentially growing number of middle-class consumers that a few RMB to burn.

  17. Still waiting for Candyland.

  18. In Shanghai there’s a grand theatre or at least I think that’s what it’s called. It had on lion king when it was in shanghai ages ago, very near that is a coffee place and by the street by that coffee place(blend something? which is where I bought someone selling a fake monopoly set. It was either 15 or 25 I got it down to and it’s basically the same as normal monopoly but it just has plastic coloured pieces rather than the dog, boot etc. It has mainly just the london prices with rmb in front so the most expensive is 400rmb. woo!

  19. I had a Taiwanese version I bought back in 1992 that had all sorts of anti-PRC propaganda on it. It was great. “Drive back red devil airbase” etc. as properties

  20. Duh, I guess I should have looked more closely (just cleaned my glasses).

    Cheers, Boyce

  21. I bought Monopoly at the Shanghai No. 1 department store in 1987, still have it somewhere in the attic of my parents’ house. At the time I thought it was ironic that it was for sale in a communist country, but possibly the rapacious nature of the game fit into the ideology. Any idea if it was for sale in the pre-reform era?

  22. We just got back from our Spring Festival trip and rushed over to our local Carrefour to discover…that they aren’t stocking these games. I guess Haikou isn’t quite a big enough city.

  23. rutger boot Says: March 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hey, these monopoly games are they in Beijing Carrefour for sale? If yes tell me which one, please.


  24. Does anyone know where I can buy other board games such as Axis and allies or magic cards, and the like?


  25. Hi Pete,

    Where in Beijing did you manage to buy the local chinese version for 30 rmb…looks quite cheap..))

  26. u really don’t wanna buy monopoly that is not hasbro monopoly here in China , i bought one for 4o kuai and the quality sucks sucks can only be played a few times and it looks really untidy .But then later i found a place where i bought the real husbro thing for 199 rmb and it is good quality with the standard playing pieces

  27. Hi guys,

    Great photos! I was wondering if anyone knows of any places where to buy other board games. The classics like monopoly and others are great but for people who play regularly they quickly become a bit boring.

    I am in Kunming and i am starting a boardgame club there, that’s why i am asking.

  28. HivyReorviozy Says: January 22, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

  29. Heather Taylor Says: April 30, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I collect Monopoly and would love to be able to get a Beijing Olympic monopoly. Does any one know where I could buy one and get it to UK?
    many thanks in advance

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