Congratulations, developers!

You have successfully developed a great and potential application or games. For day and night’s coding and designing, your work is paying off : People are downloading your apps and pay for it!

Here Is How to Distribute Your Apps In This Country

As you are getting thousands and millions of users in US, Euro and India, have you ever considered that do some marketing work and distribute your apps in China?

Credit:Marketingtochina

According to one report, Chinese customers would buy 500 million smartphones in 2015. If the average consume on apps and games is 100 RMB, that means China is breeding a new 50 billion RMB( about 7.8 Billion) mobile market! As we go deep into the market share, Samsung holds the 27% smartphone market, Apple 20%, and Windows Phone the poor 1%. The left shares belong to Android system, that is 79% of Chinese smartphone are running on Android. Tech-News-In-China (TNiC) will talk about it now.

Credit: AndroidAuthority

Chinese customers love Android smartphones. One reason is that Chinese smartphone manufacturers make a lot of affordable and cost-performance smartphones, and the other reason is that the Android system fit Chinese consume habit. The popularity of Android among them let them know one fact: Almost everything can be done in a smartphone which the fact contributed to the startup trend of China’s Mobile Internet. It’s okay for people not having a PC or Mac, but they can stand a life without smartphone! You may say cheap smartphone has lower performance, many apps and games can’t run smoothly, but today Tech-News-In-China will tell you — — recently, affordable smartphones made in China are better than some high-end brands.

However, the Intellectual Property protection awareness of Chinese people’s are still under the average line in the world. They like free things, when iPhone came to China, they wanted their iPhone jail-broken. Only for one reason, after the jailbreak, they can install many apps and games for free. Things are changing now, more and more people understand what IP is and want to pay for the developer’s wisdom! And the Chinese government are strengthening the law and regulation on IP Protection. If some apps or games violated laws or rules, they would be banned.

To conclude, China is a huge market that developers can’t miss, no matter what kinds of application or game you have developed, you will find your position in China and grab a share of it !

In this Medium story, we will tell you how to get your first Chinese user, how to market your apps in China and how to win it! (Don’t miss the great news in the end of this story! 😀 )

Credit: GBtimes

Rules You Should Follow Before Your Apps Come to China

Rule No.1: Do Some Translation Work

Actually, most Chinese users don’t know English, not to say other languages.

Credit: ChinaBiaoju

Before your apps come to China, please at least translate your interface and function introduction page to Chinese. FYI, there are two kinds of Chinese in the Great China Area. In China mainland, people use the Simplified Chinese and in China Taiwan and China Hong Kong, people use the Traditional Chinese. But don’t worry, though they are not written in the same characters, the meaning of the characters are the same. If you hand the job to a professional Chinese, he would handle the Simplified/Traditional problem.

So our advice is that you should hire a part-time translator to finish this job. For example, find a local Chinese student or post a blog online to find an volunteer. There are a lot Chinese enthusiast, and they would like to help you to translate your apps or contents to Chinese and even help you to do some market if you find the right KOL.

Also, you can submit an online crowd-source mission, let capable professional to finish the job quickly. For example, put a task on TextMaster or Gengo. It won’t cost you a lot.

Rule No.2: Get Custom Support Ready

Once your apps come to China, Chinese users would face many problems while using them. If the users paid for apps, you’d better provide them great custom support. We suggest you to hire a part-time or full-time customer service staff, let him/her answer questions from Chinese users and finish the daily customer service job. You can set up an office in China Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. Only 2–3 full-time staff is enough. Salary of every staff only cost you 5–7K RMB ( which is quite lower than it in US). The China office can help you do a lot of works, including custom support, marketing, app-distribution and legal works.

Rule No.3: Be Ready To Face Picky Users

Though Chinese users like to try new apps, that didn’t means they can accept all. Like another else, only quality app can escape the fate of being deleted. So, Rule No.1, get your apps and game great. If you just want to sell some ad or put some malware to their phones, your apps won’t pass the app store audition yet. If you were lucky enough to pass the review, low app rates won’t let you survive in Chinese app market.

Credit: Aray

Rule No.4: Let’s Just Refuse Google In China For One-Time

Because of the censorship, Google was no longer accessible in China. So, Chinese Android Smartphone can’t use the Google Play Service or another Google Play Plugins or APIs. If in you code were found APIs from Google, or display-ad from Ad Words or Admob, please change to other ad service providers, such as Microsoft Bing or Yahoo or Rapid Fire and so on. If not, you would find that, Google Ads are not showing up or loading very slowly, and users can’t load the apps or games using Google Play Service. That’s a bummer for user experience.

If what you developed is for iOS devices, you don’t need to worry the API problem, just change the ad provider is okay. But do a double check, make sure there is no Google code in your apps or contents.

Also, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube API were banned in China too. Change it to Chinese local social network’s API, Such as RenRen, Weibo and Wechat. These are popular social networks in China.

Here are website for you to know how to use their APIs. Wechat don’t support English language, so use Google Translate 😛

WeiboOpen Platform: http://open.weibo.com/
Weibo API: http://open.weibo.com/wiki/%E9%A6%96%E9%A1%B5/en
WeChat Open Platform: https://open.weixin.qq.com/ (Only Chinese)
RenRen API: http://open.renren.com/wiki/English_version_for_API2

Credit: MyTechArticle

Rule No.5: Be cautious! Some Chinese Developers Are Ready To Copy.

The time your apps appeared in Chinese App Stores, some developers are ready to copy your idea. Though we said that IP Protection Awareness is growing, but an talented Chinese developer can copy a exactly the same apps as you developed and use their resource to beat you down in Chinese market.

So, as we Tech-News-In-China said above, set up a company in China is very essential and necessary. If this kind of issue occur, they can help you handle the legal work. If you sue them, the court would support you; if you choose nonchalance, only public opinion can help you and it’s usually useless.

Rule No.6: Chinese Version Is The Best Choice.

The first 1K and 10K download is easy to get, but when you get 100K download,it’s time for you to consider to have an Chinese version. Problems occur while growing, for example, content censorship and government relationship and business development.

As you get a Chinese version, your server should move to China. Most games and apps choose this way: they set up a China company and make a Chinese version, and let the Chinese team go marketing and distributing, for example, Evernote and Angrybird.

FYI, if your apps provide special social network, don’t bother come to China. Almost every social app from foreign countries died.

Credit: Idownloadblog

If you do really want to take the action, here Tech-News-In-China provide a check list for you !

1.Translation (____)
2.Customer Service (____)
3.Good App Quality (____)
4.No Google Codes (____)
5.(optional) Chinese Version (____)

Here’s How To Distribute Your Apps In China

Main Distribution Channel

No matter Android or iOS, beside the official App Stores, there exist lots third-party app market (really a lot, more than the official App Stores). They run the markets like what Amazon App Store do but no code change: developer submit apps-editor review-market listed-done.
Third-party markets in China

Because Google provide no more service in China Mainland, so we don’t provide information about Google Play Store. But recently, news said Google intended to come back to China, we may cover that when it comes back.

Android: Wandoujia, Yingyongbao, 360 Phone Assistant, HiAPK Market, Baidu Assistant, Xiaomi App Store, 91 Phone Assistant. Click the URL after its name, jump into their App Submission Page. (If you don’t know Chinese or can have a translator immediately, use Google Translate is okay, but this plan won’t last long)

Wandoujia Developer Center(豌豆荚): http://developer.wandoujia.com/
Tencent Developer Center(应用宝): http://open.qq.com/
Baidu Assitant(百度助手): http://app.baidu.com/apps
360 Phone Assistant(360手机助手): http://dev.360.cn/
Xiaomi App Store(小米应用商店): http://dev.xiaomi.com/
91 Phone Assistant(91手机助手) http://market.sj.91.com/Users/Login.aspx

Feature Explained:

Wandoujia(豌豆荚): it has a column named Most Beautiful Apps, if your app are well-designed, they can list your app in there market in the top position for a week and charge no fees, which always brings millions download.
Yingyongbao(应用宝): this market belongs to Tencent, it has 500 million users said by Tencent
360 Phone Assistant(360手机助手): this market is called to 36% Chinese Smartphone users in China
HiAPK Market(HiAPK市场): this is a old brand market in China, its history can traced back to the first Android phone
Baidu Assistant(百度助手): this market belongs to China search giant Baidu.com, app will show up in the search result prioritized.

Also, you can contact them through Email if you don’t know how to operate and don’t know Chinese. Here is the template for you to send a asking mail to these third-party market operators. And Tech-News-In-China would leave green notes in the template to explain what’t those Chinese character means.

Template:

Subject:国外[Your Team Name]团队的[Your App Name]App 想要进入中国市场,你们能帮我们吗?
Content:尊敬的[Name of Third-Party Market]运营者,你们好。 感谢你在百忙之中查看这封电子邮件!
我们是来自[Your Country]的[Your Team Name],我们开发了一个名叫[Your App Name]的应用程序或游戏。它在过去的[How Many Months Since It’s Listed In App Stores, put numbers here]月内,下载量超过[Download Counts],评分[App Rates],受到了用户和玩家的欢迎。
中国是一个正在急速发展的国家,我们希望能参与到中国移动互联网的发展中,希望你们能够帮助我们,让我们的应用程序能够登录你们的[Name of Third-Party Market],让更多中国用户用上我们的app和游戏。
附件中为我们的应用程序,它[1.已经/2.尚未(if it’s translated ,choose 1, if not choose 2]翻译成汉语。
请回复我们的邮件,让我们知道你们的需求。如有其他商务联络,也请一并回复。
商祺!
[Your Team Name]
本邮件模板由Tech-News-In-China提供:让外国人真正了解中国!

Example:

We used AngryBird from Rovio for example.
Subject:国外 Rovio 团队的 AngryBird App 想要进入中国市场,你们能帮我们吗?
Content:尊敬的 豌豆荚 运营者,你们好。
感谢你在百忙之中查看这封电子邮件! 我们是来自 挪威 的 Rovio ,我们开发了一个名叫 AngryBird 的应用程序或游戏。它在过去的 12 月内,下载量超过 5,000,000,评分 4.8,受到了用户和玩家的欢迎。
中国是一个正在急速发展的国家,我们希望能参与到中国移动互联网的发展中,希望你们能够帮助我们,让我们的应用程序能够登录你们的 豌豆荚,让更多中国用户用上我们的app和游戏。
附件中为我们的应用程序,它已经翻译成汉语。 请回复我们的邮件,让我们知道你们的需求。如有其他商务联络,也请一并回复。
商祺!
Rovio
本邮件模板由Tech-News-In-China提供:让外国人真正了解中国!

Credit: Pri.org

For iOS app developers:

If you want to distribute through Apple’ App Store, do the follow: go to iTunesConnect, find Manage Your Apps, and choose the version you wanted to change location, click Pricing and choose People’s Republic of China. A while later, Chinese users can find and download you apps and games through App Store. But sometimes it may take a few days.

Situation in Chinese iOS ecosystem is interesting, especially the third-party app stores, like Kuaiyong Apple Assistant and PP Assistant. After your iOS apps submission, your apps would be installed to users iPhone and iPad freely even though you set it $1.99 in Apple App Store. So, iOS developers you need to do some extra works. Change the apps you submitted to third-party to FREE and change you game to in-app-purchase mode. Thought it’s wired, but the download speed and marketing result in third-party app store is way better than Apple App Store.

Jailbreak Market

There are tens of millions iOS jailbreak users in China, so you can also submit your apps to Jailbreak Market. This distribution channel fit alpha and beta version. Here Tech-News-In-China only recommend 3K Assistant and 91 Assistant, but not PP Assistant. This year, PP Assistant hurt us a lot, ask your friends who jail-broke his/her iPhone, he/she will tell you the truth. PP Assistant may violated laws in China and lost fame. If you are not considering your app and user experience, you can also choose it.

Other Distribution Channels:

Zhihu This Quora-like community has plenty higher-educated users. They know English and accept English apps. Many of them are influential Key Opinion Leaders. Tech-News-In-China will talk to you later.

Marketing in China Tech-News-In-China would give you more hints on how to market you apps and products in China, keep on following us!
Review Organizations You may need to pay them to review you apps or products. They will record your apps and provide a video to audience. If your apps are great, some enthusiast may come to help you.