On our latest XploreChina webinar featuring experts from Amazon Web Services and Nativex, we discussed everything advertisers and app publishers need to know about the Chinese Android market.
In case you missed it, the full video recording is available on the Nativex YouTube channel
- Shirley Li, Head of Startup Community Business Development @ Amazon Web Services
- Patricia Lin, Legal Specialist @ Nativex
- Stephanie Wang, Director of XploreChina Android Solution @ Nativex
- Sharon Xie, Senior Platform Operation Specialist @ Nativex
Android in China is big business and it continues to grow. With an 80% share of the Chinese mobile market, it’s easy to see how valuable the OS is becoming for developers looking to scale their apps. While Android dominates the Chinese mobile market, entering the market can seem daunting.
Regulatory barriers to entry
Entering China’s Android ecosystem, however, is not a simple task. There are a number of rules and regulations when launching your app. The rules do change between each app store but in general your app has to follow verification, user privacy and data security provisions. The process can take 8 – 12 months depending on your app’s complexity, however this can be shortened significantly by partnering with a local mobile agency.
Launching your app on any of China’s Android app stores comes with a set of required documents and processes, which can depend on things like your app category, the app stores you are targeting, and more. Recently, user privacy and data security have been tightening in China to meet international standards. The recent enforcement of ISBN regulations in China has created it difficult for mid to hardcore games to become registered in the Chinese market. While it can be done, the process will require a Chinese partner or entity to assist with the process. On the flipside, hypercasual games do not require the ISBN to be included on the Android app stores. This gives many Western hypercasual developers a distinct advantage in the market.
Android App Stores
Android accounts for over 80% of China’s mobile ecosystem and with Google Play absent, individual app stores are provided by tech giants Tencent and Baidu in addition to all the major device manufacturers including Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, etc.
Each Android store offers its own advantages so it’s worth understanding each to know where your ideal Android audience is situated. Demographics play a big part in app store targeting as do app verticals and genres.
As with localization, you will need a similar approach for monetization. Apps monetized through subscriptions, in-app purchases (IAP), or in-app advertising (IAA) will need integration with China’s popular payment platforms like WeChat Pay and Alipay. These payment services are omnipresent and provide users with ease of service. The same service, however, does present challenges to developers looking to collect those payments. To process and collect these purchases requires both a Chinese bank account and the ability to transfer to an overseas bank account. Unless you’re an AA publisher this can be a daunting task and it usually pays to partner with a local agency to accomplish this alone.
Navigating China’s complex Android ecosystem might take some time if you’re trying to launch without a partner or without the right Android solution. Operations done through local partners usually helps navigate the aforementioned regulatory landscape. Additionally, deploying Chinese oriented applications with Chinese infrastructure as it’ll help reduce risk and cost and provide better performance. Companies such as AWS use the same API and SDK integrations, as well as migrations tools seen in other markets such as the United States and Western European.
XploreChina by Nativex is your one-stop mobile marketing solution designed to help you achieve success in the Chinese market. As the only China-based agency to offer acquisition, monetization, and creative services at scale and across multiple verticals, we provide you with a wide range of transparent tools and solutions tailored to all lifecycle stages. Contact the Nativex team today to learn more about our end-to-end marketing solutions in China and across the globe.