Many people think that Google is not present in China, but it is not true. The company has some offices in the country and often recruits new workers, developing rapidly. It is true though that the Google search engine is blocked or hard to reach – depending on the internet service provider, you may either access the Hong Kong version of the search engine, or get simply nothing. But there is a product of Google, which has already conquered the Chinese market – it is, of course, Android operating system, used mostly on tablets and smartphones.
Android in China – what kind of apps are popular?
According to the recent data, till 2015 Android system will be used by 300 millions of Chinese. It is three times more than the number of users in the U.S. Chinese already possess 1 billion cellphones altogether (feature phones + smartphones), so it is very likely that the number of Android users will rise quickly, as soon as the people will change their phones to new ones. As for the operating system market share, 86% of the new phones sold in China are Android phones.
Many foreign developers want to increase their share in this promising market, but until now the applications from outside China are not very popular. It may be caused by the lack of good localization and lack of knowledge about Chinese market. There is one sphere though, in which foreign software companies are quite successful (70% market share!) – mobile games.
The Chinese love to play Angry Birds, several cities have Angry Birds exclusive shops, Temple Run or Fruit Ninja series are also very popular. Do we have a chance to pull out some profit? Freemium model would be the best choice: the Chinese are not willing to pay for the game itself, but they may buy some in-game “currency” or additional power-ups, this particular model is present in China for a long time.
To sum up with, Chinese Android apps market has enormous size and will certainly grow further, users may be encouraged to pay for various services related with the software, but maybe not for the software itself. So, if you want to export to China, be aware that not only the material things may be exported.