Want to understand the future of Android in Europe? Look at China

By the end of the month, Google will charge a license fee in Europe for apps like the Play Store and YouTube and Gmail to comply with the European Commission's antitrust ruling. Device manufacturers should soon decide whether using Google services is worth the cost, and Android, the operating system, is available free of charge. These new conditions have changed the future of Android significantly in Europe, enabling us to maintain a single operating system and provide a piecemeal alternative to our once-cornered Google services.

Then what did it look like? The most important example is where Google is strictly prohibited in China. Instead, each non-Apple smartphone company runs some Android versions, but there are over 400 app stores in China instead of the Google Play Store. Ten out of 400 stores are in most national market share, including Tencent's Myapp, 360 Mobile Assistant and Baidu Mobile Assistant. According to market analyst group Newzoo, the Play Store (downloadable via VPN) is pushing the top of the list, which accounts for 3% of the App Store installations in July.

Of course, the difference between Europe and China. Much of China is still under development and the state is being governed by an authoritarian regime. Most of the most profitable technology giants receive large subsidies from the government and often self-censor content to comply with authorities' wishes. However, the basic idea of ​​using numerous hubs to find new apps and services to download is still the same. In China, we use a fragmented app store ecosystem to create all sorts of different conditions.

Not all app stores are the same.

Appstore in China has different rating system and user review community is different. Different stores present their apps in a different order and use a unique way to prioritize which apps to highlight or display in search results. For example, Tencent's Myapp and 360 Mobile Assistant includes a list of the most popular applications for men and women. According to App Annie, the huge divide in Android in China means that it depends on different smartphone manufacturers. The average Chinese user uses about 40 apps a month and about 11 apps a day. This number is slightly higher than users in the US and Europe. You also tend to install a total of 100 apps on your phone.

In 2013, 25% of Chinese users say that the most important feature of smartphones is their diverse apps, Nielsen said. Due to the need for more apps, the Chinese smartphone company has become the first company to provide 1TB of storage.

Download multiple stores for the app you want.

Chinese users are the most convenient and choose whichever app store they choose. Often you use something pre-installed on your phone. Major Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi all have their own app stores on their devices. In the gray market where mobile phones are sold without an official government license, a less popular app store is often pre-installed, making up a large portion of market share. According to Nielsen, only 15% of China's users in 2012 bought mobile phones directly from the manufacturer.

Some apps get better service updates depending on the developer. For example, people using Tencent's popular WeChat app will want to download Tencent's Myapp. Myapp is released before the latest version of the dominant social media app is sold in other stores.

How app developers choose options

Because there are many app stores at the same time, Chinese developers have to apply to each app store to include the product. For example, Huawei's app review guidelines require developers to provide registration, paperwork, localized versions of apps and adhere to strict content guidelines. This process does not differ extensively from one app store to another, but it takes more time to reach the majority of the population than simply applying to the Play Store. This business has strengthened its channel partnerships so that many marketing agencies and app developers in China can widely distribute their apps.

Since applying to include an app in the App Store can be time consuming, some developers limit their options to stores that offer better benefits. For example, Baidu Mobile Assistant suggests that your app appear in search results. Paid apps in China are rare, and Xiaomi's app store is one of the few notable app stores. The 360 ​​Mobile Assistant, on the other hand, is an old favorite that ranks first or second on the chart for the past four years. But some have also created Qihoo 360, which produces security software that blamed computers for slowing bloatware.

In China, the app store has more developer benefits than the Apple App Store or Google Play store. . Standard 30% of in-app purchases typically go to the App Store, but Chinese carriers also use 30% more unless they pay through WeChat Pay or Alipay. In Europe, there is a possibility that regulations will be tightened so that expenses can be kept at reasonable levels.

If Android removes bundled Google services, there is much more room for competitors to use. Without a cornerstone app like Google Maps and YouTube, the competitive landscape in Europe opens up the opportunity for domestic companies to partner directly with consumers or OEMs.

Rich users may also find some way to access Google services, they did in China via VPN. Or device manufacturers know they do not have local alternatives yet available on YouTube, the Play Store, and Google Maps.

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