After it left the country in 2010, Google intends to return to China with a brand new Google China App Store. The news come from The Information, which apparently spoke to people very close to the matter. The sources kept their anonymity, of course, but journalists all over the tech world consider that Google’s intentions have a strong foundation in reality.
Google and China are not the best of friends since four years ago and the tension between the search engine giant and the Chinese authorities deepened in the past years. Google left China claiming the company was a constant target for hackers and that it was facing heavy potential loss of intellectual property and continuous censorship. Currently, many Google services are blocked in China, including Google Play.
However, against all odds, Google plans to return to a country it left, by launching a Google China App Store. Tech analysts see the reason behind this move with objectivity. According to recent reports,
“In recent months, the company has indicated its intention to reverse a longstanding Google policy and distribute its app store with phone makers and other potential partners in China. Google intends to launch a version of its Google Play app store in China, hoping to exercise greater influence over a market that accounts for roughly half the people who use its Android mobile operating system.”
Regarding local partnerships, the reports suggest that Google is now looking for a reliable phone maker collaborator to coordinate the launch with. Sources claim that Google is in talks with Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. We don’t know if the Mountain View company also managed to reach some conclusions together with one of these potential partners, but we do know from the cited sources that Google approached them both.
Google isn’t sure that its plan is even going to work, as “it will be unclear until the last minute” if the Chinese government will actually allow the Google China App Store to be launched.
Google plays all its cards at the same time, as its interest in the Chinese market probably never faded away. On Wednesday, Google announced that Google’s store would start supporting app developers from mainland China and their efforts to sell paid apps via Google’s platform. Google also stated it would make sure the revenues generated by the apps would be directly transferred to the Chinese developers’ bank accounts.
Winning Chinese developers by its side, together with handset makers, seems to be a small part of a larger Google plan to return to China on a red carpet. Since there are some sources out there able to shed light upon Google’s plans and the possible Google China App Store, stay tuned for more reports on the subject!