Chinese App Market: Must Read for Overseas Developers


The Chinese app market was never going to be easy, because the digital culture is different. Moreover, China has a vast talent pool and a government that actively encourages technology.

Digital is also not language specific and anybody, anywhere can build it.

If you are in the planning stage of a product for the Chinese app market, you have a journey ahead of you. Here are five things you have to know.

Chinese App Market: A Handful of Must-Knows

  1. The Chinese app market is still surprisingly western-centric, despite two-thirds of global downloads emanating from China. Many popular mobile applications – for example Baidu’s Photo Wonder, Maps and Browser – imitate U.S. models with the same feel and features.
  1. Two-thirds of applications downloaded from Chinese app stores are in Mandarin or Cantonese. If you are thinking of launching on the Chinese app market, Quick Response QR codes are particularly popular, and a huge turn-on to Chinese youth keen to have the coolest apps on their phones.
  1. China Money Network reports the country has the largest 3G subscriber network in the world. The Chinese app market is hungry for applications using the technology. Some 200 million citizens are accessing mobile language-learning services. The WeChat messaging application with 600 million monthly active users has immense potential for advertising revenue.
  1. Average citizens are still outside the financial sector with no credit records. This makes online payment methods the most popular apps. Alibaba was first to make inroads into online shopping. Lakala, Best Pay and Tenpay are increasingly popular. Companies like China Rapid Finance are offering P2P loans.
  1. Full Android adaptability is essential owing to Google’s dominance in the Chinese app market. Chinese censors have engaged in a process to bring online finance under central control. This is part of a drive to build clean cyberspace, and cut down on ‘antisocial behaviours’.

The Chinese app market will continue to boom despite these restrictions,, owing to the dispersed nature of the society. There is huge potential for overseas developers, provided they work within the Chinese paradigm.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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