The mobile applications market in China

Developing apps for Android and IOS in China

In March 2013 China surpassed the US in terms of Android and IOS active installations, which makes China the biggest market in the world.

For app companies the things also changed in China in 2012 when the big mobile brands reset their billing programs. The monetization on Android is a lot better now.

So for example Cocoa China, a Beijing-based game developer, said that their flagship game, Fishing Joy, is now generating 6.28 million dollars revenue for them per month. They think that the Chinese app market should reach 1,2 billion dollars in 2013.

Still the distribution and payment methods are very different from the US market. There are more than 200 Android app stores in China.


Source : techcrunch

Yodo1 for example does co-production, helping foreign games enter the Chinese market. For example for the Ski Safari game, they changed a little bit the graphics, by adding pandas and other Chinese things, and changed a little bit the music. They finally attracted 7 million users on IOS in three months, and 1,2 million users on Android in one month.


Local apps win on the Chinese market

The main Chinese stores for smartphone app are called Qihoo 360, Baidu, China Mobile, UCWeb or 91 Mobile. They offer many applications, especially free games.

In fact, the main American brands like apple and Google entered the Chinese market very carefully. Apple launched its store in November 2011, where you can pay in Renminbi. Amazon launched its online bookstore for Kindle in Chinese in December 2012, and an app store in May 2013. Google only offers free apps for now.

Google has a special story in China, because it refused first to be censored, but it is the leader today on mobile: Android is on 51,4% of the smartphone market in 2013. But the company doesn’t succeed in being the leader of smartphone apps.




In fact, the app market in China is very complex, and Chinese consumers prefer the free local apps that they can often change. “Chinese are not ready to pay for apps or content” says Yin Jingxue, from Analysis International. We especially saw it when the website started offering the Apple Apps for free during spring 2013.

Entering the app market is also hard because you have to accept the censorship. With this problem, it is easier for the Chinese companies to continue to grow.

After the success of Weibo, owned by Sina, it is now Wechat, owned by Tencent, who is growing very fast.



Weibo has more than 500 million users registered, and more than 50 million users who are active every day. It is still the major source of information for the urban middle class in China, while with inevitable censorship.

Sina is a Beijing-based company, created in 2001, which had a 366 million euro turnover in 2011, and owns 700 million dollars in cash.

If you want to know more about marketing on Weibo click here.

Wechat, or Weixin微信 in Chinese, has 400 million users in the world and 236 million users in China. This app is also for high and middle class users, not like QQ, the other Tencent app, which is more popular.

Tencent is the first Chinese web group, with a turnover of almost 7 billion dollars in 2012, and 3,7 billion dollars cash.

Since 2011, China has become the No.1 smartphone market, with 420 million users of mobile internet in 2012, according to the Chinese center of information on internet network, the state-owned analysis bureau.

If you want to know what online marketing tools you can use in China click here.


Marketing China

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