The Chinese App Store Landscape

Publishing on iOS and Android in China requires deep localization and monetization changes to accommodate Chinese cultural preferences. But on Android, there is a more fundamental barrier to success: the complex app store ecosystem. It is unlike any other country, which creates a variety of publishing challenges.

Why is China Different?

China and Google Play aren’t the best of friends. In 2010, just as smartphones were beginning to flood into China, Google packed its bags and left the country, taking most of its services along with it. This means that, while Apple’s App Store is available in China, Google Play has very limited availability and, more importantly, is unable to collect payments. With about 65% of smartphones running on Android, China’s app store market was left wide open, leaving room for alternative stores to emerge.

What Does it Look Like?

Fast forward to 2016. While the iOS App Store remains Apple’s sole platform, China’s Android app store market is made up of hundreds of third-party stores. A number of Android app stores have risen to prominence, such as Qihoo 360’s Mobile Assistant and Tencent’s  Myapp, but, overall, the market remains highly fragmented.

What Does This Mean for Developers?

Simply put, there is no easy solution to publish a game on every Android app store.

These complications deter foreign developers from publishing in China.  But with 366 million mobile gamers, over $6b in revenue, and a high ARPPU, this market shouldn’t be ignored.

How Can Oniix Help?

We tackle distribution, monetization and promotion in China.

With US headquarters and Shanghai offices, trusted local relationships and expertise in the Chinese mobile market, Oniix offers end-to-end mobile application publishing.

Is your studio interested in bringing a title to China? Get in touch!

We’ll run an evaluation and supply a free piracy report.

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