As developers look for new markets in which to hopefully turn their app ideas into the next Flappy Birds, the subject of China repeatedly comes up in conversation. The sheer size of the market combined with its relative inaccessibility for most Western developers given Google Play’s irrelevance there, creates a mystique about China that has many a publisher chomping at the bit to find a way in. As we prepare to extend our distribution offering into China, we’d like to share with you our thoughts on key things to consider if you’re planning on entering the Chinese marketplace.

About a year ago, AppFlood published an informative piece highlighting 10 top Chinese app stores that included the likes of 91 Hiapk, Baidu Market and Wandoujia on the list. They followed that up this year with an excellent piece on how the revenue shares breakdown in the Chinese market. Both of these pieces will provide to you the basics of how business is done in China.

Armed with that knowledge we strongly recommend that you don’t stop there but dig deeper and take into account the following considerations as well:

– If your app has in-app purchases then you’ll need to integrate the SDKs required by the stores you plan to submit to. For games, almost every store has their own specific SDK. For non-game apps there’s a bit more flexibility;
– Does your app rely on Amazon Web Services? While they are making a concerted push into China, our resources put AWS availability at 60-70% right now;
– Do you plan to publish under your own name? Some stores will allow it and others require a Chinese publisher of record;

– Plan to localize for language and for cultural differences, especially if you’re a games publisher;
– Store reporting is in Chinese…better get a translator;
– Feature placement and promotional campaigns need to be negotiated directly with the stores;
– Do you plan on tracking and/or responding to reviews?


This is just a partial list of things to weigh as you consider entering China with you app. So, while China is quite appealing for many very good reasons, it would be foolish to underestimate the amount of work required to effectively manage the Chinese market. CodeNgo is actively working to build new services and partnerships that will reduce the barriers to supporting the Chinese market for our clients. We hope have more for you on this very soon so stay tuned!!

Share this article on