It is no secret that the relationship between Google and China is a rocky one. In fact, in many respects, it is a nonexistent one. This is largely thanks to the issues with censorship that occurred a few years back and Google’s subsequent pulling of its infrastructure from mainland China. That said, China is one of, if not, the quickest growing mobile market. So much so, that the rest of the world is already starting to become inundated with the abundance of smartphone manufacturer from China. As such, whatever the history before, this is a market Google must want to get back involved with.
Well, according to a report which is emerging from The Information today, this is exactly what is happening. The report details that Google are planning on re-entering the China market with a Chinese version of the Play Store. In fact, the report details that this will not be just a carbon copy of the Play Store but one which specifically caters to the demands of the Chinese government. So only apps that are approved will be accessible through the Play Store. Not to mention it will not be selling books or videos. In short, it will only be selling apps and ones deemed appropriate. In a bid to try and sway Chinese developers to develop apps specifically for the Play Store, it is being reported Google will offer them a rate in line with what other developers elsewhere get through Google. A rate which is considered to be higher than what the other fragmented android app stores that are already positioned in China offer. Not to mention, Google will look to offer them a route to the international versions of the Play Store too.
The report also details that part of this move is geared towards extending the footprint of Android Wear and looking to cement the wearable platform within the country. While there is already plenty of wearables in China, Google is presumably expecting this to be a boom part of the market going forward and see this as another opportunity to extend their operating system and likewise, Google’s services. Whether this will also be a reworked version of Android Wear remains to be seen, although the introduction of the platform is said to be an integral part of the move for Google.
The most interesting part of the report notes that this is all likely to happen much sooner than later, with the report detailing it could happen and launch as early as this fall. Although, that will most probably be largely dependent on whether the new China Play Store receives the government approval it is seeking. That is, if it has not already.