An Insight into the Chinese Apps Market, by Rafique Ahmed

Global Apps Market

Mobile app market is one of the most trending and emerging field of business today. There are a number of mobile app stores in the world; some target the global audience while others are regional. The Apple App store for iOS devices, Windows App Stores for Windows based mobile phones & Google Play Store for Android based Smartphones are some of the most popular ones. The first two are limited to single platform for their smart phone users because of their only self-owned operating systems. The Google Play Store, however, has become the reason of growth of mobile apps and apps stores in the global market after making its android OS open source for the smart phone manufacturers and Mobile apps developers globally.

In order to compete with Google Play Store, many business owners launched their own app stores to have an edge or to merely survive in the industry. These include Amazone, SlideMe, Opera Mobile Store, Samsung apps, and Samsung apps, AndroidPit and Yandex.

Chinese Apps Market

As per in December 2015, the Windows mobile, Apple iPhones and Android smartphones have got 0.75%, 23% and 74% share in the Chinese market of smartphones users respectively. Since Android stand with 74% of smartphone users in Chinese market, we will discuss android app market to understand mobile app market in China.

The Chinese Mobile App Market is Quite Different from Anything You’ve Ever Known

There are over 200 mobile app stores in China and Google is only a small fish in this big pond.

According to estimates, there are over 200 mobile app stores in China and Google is only a small fish in this big pond because of some restrictions from Chinese cyber policies to meet which Google fail to follow. Google is hoping to launch a modified Play Store compliant with China Government policies. But, it will be a limited version with some categories dropped such as Movies and Books in particular.

The actual android app market in China is in the control of Tech giants such as Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu & Chihoo 360; Phone carriers China Mobile and ChinaUnicom; Smartphone Developers & manufacturers including Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO. It has become a trend in China to launch their own app store for many business owners. It is making the app stores more quantitative and less qualitative.

Top 10 Chinese Apps Stores:

The following list of app stores is provided with short detail of their owner who are more well-known in Chinese market than the apps Stores are;

  1. 360 Mobile Assistant – Owned by Qihoo 360 a flagship Internet Security Company.
  2. Myapp – Owned by Tencent, the developers of the popular messenger app “WeChat”.
  1. Baidu Mobile Assistant – Owened by Baidu, the largest search engine in China
  2. MIUI App Store – Owned by fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
  3. HiMarket – Owned by 91 Wireless, which was later bought by Baidu in 2013.
  4. Huawei App Store – Owned by globally known Huawei, the 2nd largest android phone manufacturer after Samsung.
  5. Wandoujia – It’s the only appstore that emerged as an incubator but, later invested by Softbank and Goldman Sachs in 2014, and joined hands with Messaging app Line in 2015.
  6. Anzhi Market – It grew as and later Shanda invested $10 Million to get grip on the app distribution market.
  7. Vivo – The 6th largest smartphone manufacturer Vivo has partnered with Viacom 18 Media and has regional market in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & Myanmar.
  8. Oppo Store – Owned by one more mobile manufacture OPPO with its brand in China and international market.

Global App Market vs. Chinese App Market

The difference of Chinese app market lies not only in the distribution of apps on app stores but, also in the development and design of apps in mainland China. Chinese have quite different language, traditions and interests. It’s far more difficult for international app development companies to meet the requirement of China while they are not actually in the country with their facilities or development teams.

Chinese like traditional look starting with user interface design, the nature of app or game and in Gameplay. The top apps and games on Chinese store are absolutely different than the apps or games in the international market.

According to estimates, Chinese gaming market would make a revenue of about US$ 7.7 billion in 2016.

The massive and the ever-growing Chinese market has compelled Google to work and create a restricted version of its Play Store in order to cater for this region’s needs alone. Chinese market has a huge number of smartphone users hence a great investment prospect for Google to consider.

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