China is the biggest mobile market in the world in terms of subscribers which no mobile app developer with global ambitions can choose to ignore. Statistics from November 2013 put the total number of mobile subscribers in China at 1.23 billion. Of these, around 403 million mobile users subscribe to 3G mobile technology.
Android market share in China reached 78.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 according to a Kantar World Panel Report.
But one major difference between Android users in China and elsewhere is how they download and buy apps on their phones. While Google Play, Google’s marketplace for Android phones is the primary source for Android apps in most markets, Chinese mobile users download and purchase apps from numerous third party app stores whose shared penetration reduce Google Play store to a very small player in the Chinese app market.
There are many reasons for this: Chinese internet companies used their reach to develop their own app stores, lack of awareness among Chinese consumers about the Google Play Store, Chinese mobile phone manufacturing companies load their phones with their app stores, Google services are either blocked/slow by the Great Firewall of China and Google Play does not allow paid apps to be sold to consumers in China.
Listing your app individually on these app stores some of which may have only Chinese interfaces, can be a time-consuming process which developers can do without.
It is this need that the service ‘App in China’ hopes to capitalize on. App in China helps app developers and mobile content creators from around the world to publish their apps on various Chinese Android app stores. ‘Imagine that Google Play doesn't exist... Access the top 20 Android stores in China and reach 450M more users,’ reads the App in China website, which is not an exaggeration given the low market share of Google Play and fragmentation in the app store ecosystem. “The reason I launched this service is because the Chinese market is huge and has a great potential for developers. There is a barrier to entry here which I'm helping solve,” says Shlomo Freund, Founder of the service.
Shlomo moved to China from Israel in 2011 and has been active in the startup ecosystem in Beijing through his blog Startup Noodle and the Lean Startup Meetup he organizes regularly in Beijing.
App in China helps app developers list their apps in the top 20 app stores in China: 360 Yìngyòng (360应用), wān dòujiá (豌豆荚), xiǎomǐ market (小米市场), UC Store, 91 shǒujī zhùshǒu91(手机助手), jī fēng (机锋), Youyi, ānzhuō market (安卓市场) , wǎngyì 163 (网易 163), téngxùn(腾讯), bǎidù(百度), Ān zhì(安智), huáwèi(华为), tiānyì(天翼), MM Market-China Mobile(MM商场-中国移动), N duō market (N多市场), mù mǎyǐ(木蚂蚁), liántōng wò shāngdiàn (联通沃商店), lè shāngdiàn - liánxiǎng(乐商店-联想), mèizú yìngyòng center (魅族应用中心).
But just listing your app on various App Stores may not be enough, app developers need to make sure that they invest in good translation and localization in English, Shlomo highly recommends apps to have descriptions and screenshots in Chinese as the market there is very language sensitive.
The app distribution service is priced at $899 for distribution to Top 10 App stores, $499 for the next top 10 and $999 for the top 20 stores combined. There is also an option t target individual app stores for $97.
Visit http://appinchina.co/ for more information.