How is Chinese Android Market Different From the Western Market?

We thought what would be a most proper subject to open our company’s blog. We invest a lot of our time explaining our clients about the difference between what they know of the Android market in the west and what’s going on in China.

Or as one of our client put it:

“I started out believing that distributing my app would be as simple as it was posting an app to the Google Play and Apple 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, it is not. The ‘great wall’ has a LOT of illogical ‘policies and procedures’ that would make the process completely impossible for a non-native speaker to navigate”

Anyway, here is a basic explanation. We will dive into more issues in our future posts.

When entering into the Chinese Market, western Android app companies/developers are often overwhelmed by the different market dynamic in China. In the western world, distributing an Android app is simple. Just open an account with Google Play, upload your app there and you can just wait for the revenue to come in.

However, in China, Google Play has a share of 15.4% of the market according to the statistics of July, 2014 provided by TalkingData. The rest of the market is dominated by 298 different third party app stores operated in China.

So Google Play has a medium kind of market share compared to other 3rd party stores, but practically, not many are using this store in China.

You may wonder why the market is so different. The reason we find is that, Google services doesn’t usually work too well in China (Update: Payments are now avialble in China as of November 2014) and so many phones sold in Chinese don’t really come with Google services included. Also with Google Play, there is a lot of steps a user need to go through to be able to download and install an app (registering for an account, entering password every time, etc.). These third party stores are really simple to use, you don’t need an account with them, just simply click a button, you could download the apps right into your phone.

Among the 298 third party app stores, there are a few big stores that are quite reputable on the market, such as Qihoo360, Baidu Open Platform, Tencent MyApp, etc. Uploading your app to stores like these would get access to the majority of the market. It’s a time consuming task to figure out which store it’s worth uploading your app to and then get your account and app approved.


Top 20 Android stores in China(August 2014)

We at AppInChina, focus on the Top 20 Android stores that would get help you cover for up to 90% of the market.

Since the market is pretty dynamic we keep track of the largest 20 stores rankings and let the clients know which stores are the largest and best for thier app.

If you’ve got any specific question about the Chinese market, we would love to answer it on a special post. So send us your questions.


We keep updating our stores ranking to make sure we would help you save a lot of time trying to figure out which store is worth uploading to, and how the procedures will be.

If you wish to get up to date information about the Chinese Android market, you could follow our blog or contact us if you have more specific questions.

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized.