When moving into a new market, especially one with heavy regulations like China, it can be challenging to find the best distribution strategy for your game. Ultimately, the world of Chinese popular mobile applications and distribution channels is very different to what Western game developers and gamers are used to.
Without Facebook, Google and the other tech giants who dominate much of the world, China has its own collection of media and distribution giants such as WeChat, Tencent and Baidu. These entities supply the nation with a whole range of messenger apps, browsing experiences, social media tools, gaming opportunities and much, much more.
For foreign developers working on adapting Western games for Asian markets, a firm grasp of the best mobile app channels in China is necessary for effectively monetising your content and cracking the Asian games market.
With its total number of monthly active users (MAU) estimated to be over 1 billion, WeChat’s figures are truly staggering.
Installed on most Chinese smartphones today, WeChat has long been the leader of mobile apps in the nation and continues to offer users the ability to play games, read the news and share social posts – all in addition to its core functionality as a chat service.
WeChat is the fifth biggest digital network worldwide closely following US tech giants Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in the rankings. However, users are known to spend more time on WeChat than on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram combined.
One of China’s biggest digital conglomerates, Tencent offers a range of channels for attracting large numbers of users to your game such as Tencent App Store, Tencent QQ, Qzone, and QQ Game. The messaging and social media application QQ boasts over 800 million MAUs offering popular ways to connect, share media and play online games with friends.
With a substantial volume of young adults and teenagers using this app, developers who want to target a younger demographic will do well to pay close attention to this channel and the potential marketing and discovery opportunities it offers.
Another giant in the Chinese app market, Baidu holds over half of the desktop browser market while dominating the mobile browsing sector with around 90 percent of the market share.
Integrating the mobile traffic of platforms like Baidu Mobile Assistant can considerably boost your promotion and distribution potential.
As a potentially vital tool for app marketing and discovery, all game developers with an eye on the Chinese mobile games market should recognise Baidu’s activity across a whole spectrum of demographics.
China has the biggest games market in the world. With over 600 million players in 2018, and mobile games estimated to generate over $20 billion, there is great potential for foreign game developers who can effectively bring their titles to Chinese audiences.
One of the biggest Android platforms in China, 360 Mobile Assistant is one of the leading stores for distributing Android apps in the nation. With over 275 million MAUs and growing at a rapid rate every month, this channel offers developers a launch partner with wide-reaching capacity to generate a high discovery rate for your title.
Catering also to app developers, 360 offers custom-made distribution plans and marketing tools to help you reach the largest number of Android users in China.
A strong contender in the sea of rivals that is China’s mobile app distribution landscape, Oppo offers developers access to a huge number of users in China and the APAC region.
One of the largest mobile distribution channels in China, it provides game developers with various distribution capabilities and resources to help applications grow rapidly and achieve greater discovery rates across its app ecosystem.
A leading Chinese ICT solutions provider, Huawei pre-installs the Huawei App Store on many of its Huawei smart devices. As a result, the popularity of its latest devices has contributed to its wide user base and the number of users on Huawei App Store, installed on 37 million devices at the beginning of 2016, making it the fifth most popular app store in China.
Game developers also have the option of joining the Huawei Developer Alliance for app distribution support and assistance with marketing and monetization strategies for the Chinese app market.
China’s major players in the mobile app distribution game cater to astonishing numbers of monthly active users, but they also do this with little threat from Western media platforms like Facebook.
Clearly China’s major players in the mobile app distribution game cater to astonishing numbers of monthly active users and do so with very low levels of threat from Western media platforms like Facebook.
Understanding the best mobile app channels in China and the opportunity in this region for reaching greater audiences with your games will involve learning a completely new landscape.
Sometimes there simply isn’t an equivalent model or platform in the West that can help you understand the unique dynamic of Chinese mobile distribution channels. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it is literally only possible to find success this region if you have a local partner who understands the local context. Without this, your chances of securing exposure and achieving a higher discovery rate are tiny.
From localizing your game content, to finding the best channels for distribution and app discovery, the team at JoyPac has a collective 70 years’ experience in successfully developing Western games for Asian markets.
Get in touch today to find out how we can boost your monetization potential and curb some of the associated risks that come with launching your game in a completely new market.