China’s massive smartphone market is majorly Android by volume, but it is completely beyond Google’s control. Pertaining to regulations and censorship put forth by Chinese government, to favor domestic players, business is really tough in China. This was the reason Google took off from China in 2010, leaving behind a mess of third party App stores, not strictly monitored and often infested with malware.
Nevertheless, Apple is enjoying roaring success with its bigger iPhones and that’s motivation enough for Google to make a second attempt at regaining lost ground. The Mountain View giant will launch Play Store in China adhering to all required censorship.
However, reestablishing its services ecosystem will be challenging to say the least. By now, China is adept at living without Google services. After Google’s exit, market imploded with Parallel services, which are now firmly rooted and extremely competitive.
“For Google, having a product in China would be a symbolic gesture to show that the company values the market,” said Shen Si, CEO of Chinese mobile advertising company PapayaMobile and a former Google employee.
“If they want to break the ice with the Chinese market then they have to pick a pretty important product to make available to the Chinese people and make it really localized,” she said. “Google Play would be a really good product for that because it’s not very sensitive.”
Reportedly, Google has already started lobbying with Chinese vendors to start preloading Google Play Store on their phones and is also offering a subsidy of $1 per handset. Google Play Store is expected to launch in China early next year.