Reaching China’s app markets

In our opening post on China’s app markets we had an overview of the leading app stores in China. Today we will go into the specifics of how to reach them and their methods of operation.

One of the major bumps in the road to releasing an app in a Chinese marketplace is the language. Most Chinese websites don’t have versions in English. Fair enough, most English websites are not localised in any of the Chinese language varieties. So Google Translate is your friend. The language barrier has a second stage: after you work out what the prospective app store website tells you, you need to be prepared to get in touch with their personnel.

First contact with the marketplace

It’s important to understand each app store’s submission process, as these can differ. In addition, each app store has its own requirement regarding what types of apps are appropriate in terms of:

  • content;
  • usage;
  • price range;
  • monetization techniques.

Most of the app stores have developer portals that will guide you through the process of submitting an app. The main challenges here are two. The first one is, as you might guess, the language barrier. Unfortunately there are cases where even Google Translate can’t help you much.

The second challenge might come as a surprise for you: a lot of stores require you to have a mobile number from a local Chinese operator. If you don’t have one, you will need to get in touch with a store representative. Don’t speak Mandarin or any other Chinese language? Email is your best bet in that case, in which you explain that you are from overseas and don’t have a local mobile number.

Here is a life saver e-mail tamplate prepared by the guys from Inside you will find covered the most important points of communication.


The worldwide tendency for up front payments for casual apps and games to go in decline hasn’t passed China. Recent research shows that the Chinese mobile users, instead of paying for an app, are more willing to make in-app purchases for additional items and content.

Local  advertising platforms offer another way to monetaze your app’s usage. Tencent’s financial reports show that approximately 80% of its revenue is generated via in-app purchases and mobile advertising.

Already tried that?

Do you have first-hand experience with the Eastern app development culture?
Or are you researching it in order to make a move towards one or more of the Chinese app markets?

Share your experience and opinions in the comments below!

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