Procurement 29 August 2018

How to develop and launch a successful app for the Chinese market

Shanghai, China | China uses more mobile apps more than any other country in the world

Writing for Business Advice, Rilind Elezaj, director of marketing at LA-based creative agency Creative27, explains exactly what app developers need to know about targeting a product for the Chinese market.

A few years ago, the US dominated the lucrative app market. Today, however, the story is different and China is slowly edging out the US over app dominance. The app store, which is the main distributor of apps, reported that the Chinese app market brought in more revenue in the last year than any other country.

One of the leading apps that stole the show was Pokémon GO, a Chinese video game app. Many of the apps from China topped the list of the most downloaded mobile apps.

This is understandable because China has one of the best mobile markets in the world and an aggressive competition among the app agency ocean bordering each corner of the country. Not many countries come close to the huge opportunities that China offers when it comes to mobile technology.

According to a recent study, China uses more mobile apps more than any other country in the world. Mobile phone users in China contribute to half of all the app downloads in the world.

That’s the reason why more and more people are trying to take advantage of the pleasing economic conditions to penetrate the Chinese app market. While it may seem like a simple thing to do considering the response of the masses towards apps, there are several things to consider.

What to consider before launching an app in the Chinese market

While app developing for the Chinese market is a lucrative business, there are certain aspects to consider and specific steps to follow before you launch your app. These aspects to be taken into consideration are:

The Chinese culture

Chinese have a different way of doing things and that is the first thing you should take into consideration if you are planning to launch an app in the Chinese market. They believe so much in their distinct culture that they take a lot of pride in it.

If you are from the west, you must know that the way things are perceived and realised in China is completely different from the way things are done in the west.

Analyse the Chinese culture thoroughly and understand how your app fits into it. Discuss it with any Chinese friends that you have and get as much first-hand response as possible.

Chinese trends and interface designs

Just as their culture is different, so are their mobile interface designs. Everything about Chinese mobiles differs from the western mobiles. The websites are different and their interactions with other users are different.

A mobile interface of a Chinese phone will have designs that include more icons and illustration, anime characters and clustered websites. Websites and apps that are more west influenced will not fit in well in the Chinese platforms because the population is used to certain designs and they don’t feel comfortable being served things that are much more different to that.

Chinese app stores

China too has its own app stores that carry out the same work as apple store. Though the apple store has branches in China, there are native app stores that are a great alternative to the apple store.

Some of the most popular Chinese app stores are Tencent MyApp and Baidu App store among many others. Every store has its own rules and regulations and before you launch your app, it is good to know what to expect from them.

Red tape

Starting up any business in China and especially a mobile app business requires a lot of paperwork. The business industry is almost impenetrable for non-citizens. However, after proper authentication, then you can follow the proper channels to get into the competitive world of mobile app development. If you are a foreigner, it would be easier if you find a Chinese partner.

Keeping in mind that China is like an ocean of opportunities for app developers where you could get hired and earn well, especially if you apply via a professional employer organisation that connects you to a successful app development company that is keen to hire and help you with the legal procedures.



Essential legal considerations when developing a new app

As apps are made up of many different elements, you need a combination of intellectual property rights to protect the various parts of it.



The Majority of the Chinese people speak only mandarin so it is important that your app should be in that language. If you want your app to go international, you can use translation services for app localisation in English, and if you need to localise or translate for the Chinese language you should be cautious of the certain challenges of localising for the Asian market.

Benefits of penetrating the Chinese app market

Many job opportunities For people that develop apps, there are immense job opportunities for them in China. The demand is so high for mobile apps that there are new ones in the market every other day.

You can liaise with your local professional employer organisation to get you an app company to incorporate your skills in China.

Cash in on the popularity

China offers immense opportunities for people developing new apps. For starters, it is now the leading country with the highest revenue derived from mobile apps.

This trend keeps going up and it is not changing any time soon. You can cash in on the growing need for apps by creating one that will adhere to the tastes of the majority of the users. Majority of the apps in China are game related, dating apps and social media apps. Others like broadcasting apps are slowly catching up.

Ready market

Everyone wants a piece of the Chinese app market because there are potential and ready users. You will not struggle to find people to use your app as long as you comply with the digital marketing landscape of China.

Before you enter the Chinese app market, do your research well and understand all the demographics. Understand the mentality of China, empathise with the user’s needs, their culture and all the necessary precautions you need to take in order to develop a successful app. Design and develop a competitive app that will stand out with the locals first before you decide to go international.

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