The Chinese are now downloading more iOS apps than the US, according to a recent report released by China-focussed market research firm Daxue Consulting.
Entitled ‘App Market in China’, it highlights the trends within the mobile space in China. According to the report, the prospects in China are bright for mobile app makers. With 1.29 billion mobile users in China, its app market is seeing a rapid growth.
Payment apps are in proliferation, thanks to the low adoption of credit cards in China. This is also fuelled by a strong demand for home delivery. Alipay saw the fastest growth, but it is also facing competition from other apps such as Tenpay, Bestpay and Lakala.
Educational apps, particularly language learning apps are also taking off. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CINNIC), more than 200 million Chinese mobile users accessed mobile learning content in 2013.
Not surprisingly, China has now the largest 3G subscriber population globally, overtaking the US market by 1.4X. This has allowed apps such as WeChat to reach 600 million monthly active users, with the vast majority located in China.
Chinese app stores now account for two-third of the world’s app downloads. It is imperative for app makers to offer a Chinese language option if they wish to substantially increase their app’s download. Implementation of QR codes is also important as they are commonly used in China.
More Chinese apps — is it sustainable?
While iOS downloads in China are increasing, Android users still capture the biggest share of the app market. In China, there are more than 200 Android app markets, with the web service giant — Baidu’s store ranking among the top.
Many Chinese game apps are essentially copies of popular mobile games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. In addition, some bizarre ideas have found their way onto the store.
One such peculiarity — Didi Da Ren — exemplifies the dark side of the sharing economy, allowing users to hire gangsters to rough up another person. Naturally, it was banned but it highlighted the need for regulation.
So far, the Chinese government has started placing regulations for messaging apps as it seeks to “build a clean cyberspace”. However, the downside is that if there is too much control, it might stifle the growth of the app market.