With over 450 million mobile internet users it’s no wonder why so many developers and publishers seek to conquer the Chinese market in hopes of making a hit. But even as the biggest market in the world by user-base, China’s market is still one of unlocked potential. With no Google presence, a fragmented app market, and rampant piracy, achieving success means coming up with a targeted plan to overcome the unique hurdles the country presents.
The Smartphone Environment:
• China is similar to most other countries in that both Samsung and Apple have the lion’s share of the market. Xiaomi, a domestic manufacturer, is a growing presence making it a company to watch in the future.
• Due to a strained relationship with the government, Google has no presence in China.
• With dozens of third-party and carrier stores, China’s app market is extremely fragmented. Getting your game into one store does not guarantee that your game won’t be copied or pirated in another store.
• Apple has a significant presence with the App Store being one of the most reliable sources of revenue in the country.
Things to consider:
• Localization is a must for entering the Chinese market. Simple translation is not enough to be a success.
• Due to rampant piracy, your game will likely already be in China by the time you decide to release.
• Strong partnerships are a must before entering the country. You will need someone that can talk to the major carriers (China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom), advise you on marketing strategies, and help with localization.