Following the launch of its e-book store in China last December, the online portal has opened an Android app store, offering both paid and free apps to increase its footprint in China. Currently, Google’s official app store Play only offers free apps in China, despite its Android operating system being the more popular platform Chinese users.
But Google's decision is not without reason. There are countless local rivals on the ground already offering paid and free apps – some of them pirated, making this unregulated and fragmented app market a problem for both advertisers and users who fear malware when downloading from these sites.
With less than a 3% business-consumer e-commerce market share in the fourth quarter last year, Amazon will be the first Western platform in mainland China to offer paid apps with promises to pump out more in the future.