How can I launch my app? What is the difference between an exclusive launch campaign and a joint launch campaign?

Clients often want to know what options they have when it comes to launching their app. Well, there are 2 main options you can choose from, organic launches and integrated launches.

Organic launches are when an app developer/company publishes their app onto an app store without any initial promotion/advertising. This type of launch is recommended for established brands that already have a strong presence in China.

Integrated launches are when promotion is incorporated into the launch campaign when the app is first distributed. This form of launch can also be split into exclusive launch campaigns and joint launch campaigns, both of which are ideal for growing apps/companies that have yet to make a major breakthrough in the Chinese market.

Exclusive Launch Campaigns

An exclusive launch campaign is when an app store is given exclusive rights to launch your app on their platform for a 24-72-hour period. Once this exclusive time period is over, the app can be distributed and promoted on all other app stores.

The advantage of an exclusive launch campaign is that the chosen app store will give your app one of its primary featured spots (main page) to ensure that you gain as many downloads as possible.

The disadvantages of an exclusive launch campaign are that your app is only distributed and promoted on one single app store and that the other app stores will be less likely to give you primary featured spots once the exclusive launch period is over.

Joint Launch Campaigns

A joint launch campaign is when several app stores are given the rights to launch your app on their platforms on the same date.

The advantages of a joint launch campaign are that your app will be distributed and promoted on several app stores and the chosen app stores will all give your app one of its featured spots.

The disadvantage of a joint launch campaign is that the chosen app stores will only give your app one of its secondary featured spots (store category), which aren’t as visible as primary featured spots (main page).

Summary

Here is a basic breakdown of the main differences between the two types of integrated launches discussed above:

Integrated Launch Type Number of Stores Featured Position
Exclusive Launch Campaign 1 Primary Spot
Joint Launch Campaign Several Secondary Spot

For more information and insight about the Chinese Android market, follow our blog and our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or contact us at info@appinchina.co for any other enquiries!

Why do I need a security solution for my app?

Pretty much everybody understands the necessity for a security solution when it comes to protecting computers from hacks and viruses. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for apps. This lack of knowledge has led to a huge problem. In China and other extremely dense markets, thousands of apps are being hacked and illegally distributed without app developers knowing. This year alone, we’ve discovered that more than half of our clients’ apps were already illegally distributed on the Chinese market.

Before we talk about possible solutions, let’s understand why apps are more commonly hacked in China in the first place.

Why are apps hacked?

Apps are usually hacked in China for the following 3 reasons:

1. App stores distribute your app unofficially themselves because they see that your app is popular and bringing in lots of users and downloads. Store editors simply search for popular apps, download and then illegally upload them onto their store. These copied apps are normally clearly labelled as “unofficial” versions.

piracy1
The Economist must have been hacked (no “official” mark).

 

2. Hackers include either false content or malware to hurt your branding and damage your reputation.

3. Hackers have added another layer of code with different monetization solutions to generate income from your app.

How can piracy issues be solved?

AppInChina can solve problem #1 by helping you “Reclaim” your app and gain the official version seal. Sometimes this process can involve eliminating hundreds of copies from many stores, which can take up to a of couple weeks to complete.

However, once the reclaiming process is complete, all unofficial versions will be taken offline, the original app will be uploaded to all of the relevant traffic sources and no unofficial versions will be allowed to be uploaded to the stores that your app has been reclaimed from.

piracy2

Guess why Microsoft Office Mobile has an “official” mark next to it….

 

Both problem #2 & #3 can be solved by using security solutions providers such as SecNeo & GuardSquare. This type of security service provider will offer protective solutions that will create a shell around your app and stop hackers from breaking in.


Check out our one of a kind anti-piracy tool, AppInChinaOrNot (AICON), here and find out whether or not your app has already been illegally distributed in China.

For more information and insight about the Chinese Android market, follow our blog and our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or contact us at info@appinchina.co for any other enquiries!

How do I publish my app in China? What do I need to provide to complete distribution?

Since the process of distributing apps is becoming more and more complicated, we thought it would be the perfect time to summarize the current app distribution procedures and shine a light on the changes that are coming in the near future.

At the moment, foreign app companies/developers have two options when it comes to distributing apps in China.

What are the current options?

Option A is to distribute your app through a local distribution service provider’s account. This option is the faster method of distribution and provides a higher likelihood of success, as Chinese app stores see local accounts as being more trustworthy, which leads to a much smoother approval process.

Option B is to distribute your app through your own account. This option is the slower method of distribution and offers a smaller chance of success, as local app stores carry out extensive checks on foreign based accounts, which means more documentation and more steps are required.

What materials do I currently need to provide?

If you choose to publish your app through a distribution service provider, you will need to provide the following:

  1. Localized App APK
  2. Customized App Icons
  3. In-App Screenshots
  4. Localized App Name & Description
  5. Power of Attorney Letter

If you decide to distribute your app through your own account, you will be required to provide the following:

  1. Localized App APK
  2. Customized App Icons
  3. In-App Screenshots
  4. Localized App Name & Description
  5. Business Registration
  6. Photocopy of Passport (Business Registration Holder)
  7. Chinese SIM Card
  8. Signed Individual App Store Development Statement/Claim Guarantee Letter

How will the process change in the near future?

Over the next few months, all third-party app stores in China will revise their app distribution rules and regulations (Tencent MyApp has already adjusted their procedures).

Before the end of the year, the following changes will be implemented:

  • All foreign app companies/developers must publish apps through an authorized local distribution service provider.
  • All foreign app companies/developers must provide a valid Chinese Software Copyright Certificate.

chinese_certificate

Example of the Chinese Software Copyright Certificate. Image from http://www.bestszchina.com/_company/details.asp?coinfoid=4

 

How we can help?

AppInChina can help you with all of your app distribution needs. We can procure the necessary materials to create your own account and distribute your app through your platform until the changes are enforced.

Furthermore, we can also obtain the Chinese Software Copyright Certificate and distribute your app through our account once the new regulations come into place.

For more information and insight about the Chinese Android market, follow our blog and our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or contact us at info@appinchina.co for any other enquiries!

What are the differences between the Chinese and Western Android app markets?

We invest a lot of our time explaining the differences between the Western and Chinese Android market to our clients, so what better topic to relaunch our blog page with.

Here’s a brief summary of one of our client’s experiences tackling the Chinese app market:

“I started out believing that distributing my app would be as simple as posting an app to Google Play and Apple’s App Store. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, so, I assumed that it would be similar to those stores…with some language translations mixed in obviously. Unfortunately, it is not. The Chinese app market has a LOT of unique ‘policies and procedures’ that make the process completely impossible for a non-native speaker to navigate.”

Main Difference

When entering the Chinese market, Western Android app companies/developers are often overwhelmed by the different market dynamic in China.

In the West, distributing an Android app is simple. Open an account with Google Play or Amazon Appstore, upload your app and wait for the revenue to come in. Simple.

However, in China, the distribution process doesn’t start and end with Google Play or Amazon Appstore. In fact, the Chinese Android market is dominated by over 400 different third-party stores, (Tencent MyApp, Wandoujia, MIUI App Store etc.), with Google Play only holding a marginal market share and Amazon Appstore unpopular with local users.

Why is the market different?

There are three main reasons why the Android market is different in China.

  1. Android phones bought in China don’t come pre-set with Google Services, instead phone manufacturer’s individual services are integrated.
  2. Google Services are heavily restricted, while third-party service providers enjoy complete functionality.
  3. Downloading apps from Google Play requires more steps than the third-party stores. On Google Play, a user needs to register an account and enter their password before they can download and install an app. Whereas, on third-party stores, a user can simply click on the download button and the app starts downloading straightaway.

How do I upload my app to third-party stores?

Uploading your app to these third-party stores is a time-consuming task and there are 3 fundamental steps which need to be carried out before your app is successfully distributed.

First, you need to figure out which stores you want to upload your app to.

Then, you need to setup an account with each of the app stores you’ve chosen.

Last, you need to provide legal documentation and a localized APK to get approved by each individual app store.

This process can take months to complete if you don’t have a strong understanding of the market and a good grasp of the Chinese language.

How we can help?

AppInChina can help you by using our knowledge to target relevant app stores, execute all the necessary procedures, secure placement and ultimately allow you to gain access to around 90% of the market in China.

Additionally, we can also provide assistance with promotion, updates, monitoring, reclaiming, protection, localization and maintenance of your app.


Check out our Top 20 Chinese Android App Store rankings here.

For more information and insight about the Chinese Android market, follow our blog and our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or contact us at info@appinchina.co for any other enquiries!