Category Archives: Mobile Operating Systems

Explaining China’s mobile app ecosystem

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Explaining China's Mobile app ecosystem:  the potential, players, and pain points.

Explaining China‘s Mobile app ecosystem: the potential, players, and pain points.

Some topics covered:

  •  500 million smartphones that’s still improving. “90%+ of those consumers are upgrading to entry-level Android smartphones…” Developers must remember that these devices capabilities trail behind US and UE counterparts; developers must remember to optimize for this relatively low-end Android market.
  • Hundreds of app stores, but about 20 major players. Focus on only on China’s very largest app stores with the greatest distribution efforts. Arai recommends international concerns work with a third-party company with a local presence in China who understands these idiosyncrasies.
  • Many app stores means many approval and billing processes. Each store will require different QA and certification processes for each, along with vastly different revenue splits — QQ for instance takes up to 70% of an app’s revenue, while China Unicom takes 30%.
    China Unicom

    China Unicom

    App creators must track not only the performance of their app, but also the current standing of the app stores. This market moves extremely fast and one can find themselves trailing rather quickly.

  • There’s App Store life beyond games.  China is seeing a number of other app varieties beginning to gain , like educational apps and basic utilities, especially those which enable sharing of audio, video, and images, attracting substantial downloads.
  • Major players dominate China’s app market. These major players only cater to the proven audience and established app categories. The Chinese app world is open to many categories  and audience considered niches or have not been explored, like exercise and educational. Arai strongly recommend that your app come with deep social network integration with China’s top social networks to increase the chances it will find the audience it deserves.
  • Pain points besides piracy: First, the Chinese government will tax whopping 30%. Then publishing an app requires cloud services backend support; which means using an operation within China. Cloud and servers beyond the Great Firewall will suffer connectivity issues.
  • Ignore the pain points and publish… Arai recommends pushing past these points and take advantage of the

Written by:

Masanari Arai

Masanari Arai link to kii.com

Masanari Arai is founder and CEO of Kii, an international MBAAS with a presence in China. Masanari has more than 15 years experience in mobile software in Silicon Valley and Japan. He joined Intellisync in 1995 as one of its original members, where he served in various positions, including VP Product Marketing, VP Business Development, GM for Asia and President of Intellisync Japan. Prior to Intellisync, Masanari was at IBM where he was the product manager of the original ThinkPad 700 Series.