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3 Reasons Why You Should Launch Your Game In Chinese App Store Now

3 Reasons Why You Should Launch Your Game In Chinese App Store Now

Yes, I know you heard this before.

We all heard Chinese app store is super hot, but just how hot exactly it is?

… and is it really worth investing your time and effort to publish your app/game there?

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should publish your app/game in Chinese app store now:

1. The King of Revenue

As we predicted last year in this post, China is now the king of iOS mobile game revenue.

China is the king of revenue in ios app marketChinese app store is the king of revenue

Also, citing data from market research firm Newzoo, GMGC predicted that revenue from mobile games in China will reach US$7.7 billion in 2016, compared to US$7.3 billion in the US.

Newzoo Chinese app store revenue

2. The Download Monster

For iOS mobile app downloads, China has already surpassed the U.S. and become the #1 country by iOS app downloads since Q1 2015.

China app downloads install stats

If we also take Android apps into consideration, Chinese app stores accounted for 59 percent of all app downloads in the whole wide world!

3. The Unstoppable Growth

Mobile game revenues are growing at an astonishing rate of 67 percent year-over-year. To put things in perspective, there are more mobile gamers in China than the total U.S. population according to Tech in Asia.

“The fastest growth in mobile games is happening in China and the surrounding Southeast Asian market,” said Peter Warman, co-founder and chief executive of Newzoo.

So, What’s In It For Me?

There’s no doubt, China is taking over the mobile world. This is a golden opportunity for western app developers, especially considering the general lack of creativity in China. So, it is not a question of why you should enter China, it is really a question of how.

Check out the link below to find out how.

Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

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Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

4 Big Ways Apple Beats Android In Chinese App Store

4 Big Ways Apple Beats Android In Chinese App Store

Many mobile app developers ask me these questions about Chinese app store market:

  • How does Apple compare to Android in Chinese app store market?
  • Which Chinese app store should a western app developer go first?
  • How to tackle the piracy and local payment issues in Chinese app store?

… the list can go on and on.

For the benefit of every app developer, I thought it is good to do a comparison here.

Let’s dive into it…

1. The Chinese App Store Market

Android — Fragmented Market

In China, Google Play is mostly not yet accessible. The whole Android market is fragmented into hundreds of small app markets. Managing updates and promotions is tedious.

Apple — Single Largest Market

Apple App Store is the single largest app market in China. Its revenue is US$2.3Bn, or 35%, out of the total US$6.5Bn (Newzoo, 2015). And 29% smart devices in China are iPhone/iPad (TalkingData, 2016). It takes many Android app markets to beat one Apple app store.

2. Payment Integration

Android — Complex Payment Systems

You have to include Alipay, Tenpay, Weibo Payment, and Union Pay to cover more than half of your users. To make the situation worse, the set of supported payment systems you need to put in place varies across different app markets.

Apple — No Third-Party Payment

Apple does not allow third-party payment system, so you just need to stick with the same code.

3. Piracy

Android — Uncontrolled Piracy

Banning clone is rarely done properly in China. If your apps are good, rest assured many Chinese developers will find the ways to copy your apps. They will then publish the clones in China and claim theirs are original.

Apple — Respect Intellectual Properties

Apple has been active in banning clones.

4. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

Android — Lower ARPU

US$0.7–0.9 for freemium games

Apple — Higher ARPU

US$1.2–1.5 for freemium games

Is it really that hard to win in Chinese Android markets?

Okay, let me tell you a story…

Clash of Clans failed to make a single penny when it first launched its Android version in China.

The game was downloaded 200,000 times in its first month. It had total downloads exceeding one million in the initial period. But it didn’t create any revenue. It is because the game was using Google Play payment system, which is inaccessible in China.

It is a no-brainer that Apple App Store is the better route to go. You can find many successful western apps in the App Store, but successful western Android apps in China are rare.

So if you have an iOS app, good for you! You are almost ready to go China!

If you are interested in knowing more details, feel free to leave a comment below.

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

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Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

Indie Games Are On The Rise In Chinese App Store

Indie Games Are On The Rise In Chinese App Store

For the past couple of years, the Chinese App Store had recommended the popular games from anywhere around the globe. While most spots were taken by mega-sized international companies (e.g. EA, Namco, Koei, and Sega), the remaining spots usually went to the medium-sized Chinese game developers (e.g. NetEase’s “Fantasy Westward Journey”). Indie developers had only a slim chance to gain popularity.

chinese app store indie developer success

Chinese app store is helping iOS indie developers

iOS App Store has recently undergone interesting changes to aid indie developers. A new section called “Best New Games” is live and it features indie games like “Duet Game”, “Year Walk”, and “Device 6”. Also, the Chinese App Store editors have featured increasingly more indie games (e.g. “MUSYNC”) in the recommended game list. The indie games are not sitting side-by-side with the most famous apps (e.g. Bubble Witch Saga) in the Chinese App Store’s main page.

The new section and broader editor’s choices definitely bring hope and public exposures to the indie game developers. Now, indie developers have a much fairer ground. In terms of free app store exposures, they do not need to spend huge marketing dollars to get on par with the top-tier companies.

 chinese app store top marketing

So what are the featured indie games?

A game with simple, creative gameplay is something which indie game developers can afford to do but large game developers cannot. Indie game developers have the freedom to create a product that they like, but large game developers only have the freedom to create a low-risk product for the mass market.

Here are a few featured indie games in the Chinese app store:

  • Grow” is a game about plants. You play as a seed in the game, and the goal of the game is to move through puzzles and grow into a tree.
chinese app store successful indie games
  • Koi” is a game about nature and zen. You play as a koi fish in the game, and the goal of the game is to dodge from obstacles and consume food to survive.
  • MUSYNC” is virtual piano game. It is somewhat like Guitar Hero Live, but the game has come out three months ahead of Guitar Hero Live.

These three games are all published by small developers. MUSYNC has stayed in the recommended game list for the longest time and app store has recommended it for seven weeks. From here, we can tell the Chinese App Store is favoring more towards indie games now.

iOS App Store has always been a miraculous place of hope for developers. The App Store has turned developers to billionaires by featuring their games. It has turned many indie developers into giants (e.g. ZeptoLab and Supercell), and it also has brought dying game developers back to life (e.g. King and Rovio). That is why game developers are trying to get as many downloads as they can in order to get the App Store editors’ attention.

Large developers can invest huge marketing dollars to drive installs, but indie developers usually do not have that kind of resource. They have to grab eyeballs with fantastic graphics and fascinating gameplay. With the new changes in place in the Chinese App Store, indie games now have a better chance to become the next big hit in China.

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

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Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

My 6 Favorite Foreign Games In Chinese App Store

My 6 Favorite Foreign Games In Chinese App Store

As a frequent traveler in China, I could not always play the games I bought for my PC or PS4. I always had to keep several games installed on my iPhone to fix my craving. They are all foreign games in the Chinese app store. I am going to show you my current set of games on my phone today.

 1. The Room Three, Fireproof Studios

chinese app store the room three fireproof studio
A Puzzle in The Room 3

I think many people should already know about The Room series. It’s a beautiful puzzle game which requires you to manipulate objects and shapes to unlock gadgets and chests. There’re occasional word puzzles, but those do not need Sherlock Holmes to solve. That is why the game can be popular in the Chinese app store because Chinese players can manage to play the game even if they are not very good at English.

2. Radiation Island, ATypical Games

chinese app store radiation island atypical games
Innocent Bear in Radiation Island

On Radiation Island, I have to defend myself from bears and zombies, solve puzzles, and survive the harsh weather and hunger. I would recommend this game to all survival game fans. I purchased Radiation Island as soon as I found the game in the App Store because there is no developer in China who makes survival game. A survival game of this high quality has a good chance of reaching the top.

3. Space Marshals, Pixelbite

chinese app store space marshals pixebite
Space Marshals

There are many top-down shooters in the Chinese App Store but Space Marshals’ my favorite. The game has the best eye-candy and deepest gameplay. The environment has very high details and the high-definition animation is really well-made. I enjoy how I have more than one way to complete my missions. I can gun down the enemies straight up like Terminator or I can assassinate the enemies silently like Solid Snake. There are also many weapons for me to choose from, and I had fun trying out different combos of weapons.

4. Daddy was a Thief, RebelTwins

chinese app store daddy was a thief
Daddy was a Thief

As a dad of three daughters, I found the title Daddy was a Thief funny so I purchased it and gave it a try. The game is a simple, straightforward platformer game. I have to go downward along a tower, dodge the police, and grab as many coins as I can. The game only requires one thumb to play so it allows me to feed my daughters with a milk bottle with one hand and play this with my other hand.

5. Punch Club, tinyBuild Games

chinese app store punch club tinybuild games
Punch Club

Punch Club is a really well-made simulation game with heavy RPG element. Since simulation game for male players is rare in the Chinese app store and martial art is popular in China, this game gets a good standing in the top app chart consistently. In Punch Club, you have to train your character, plan your skill tree, beat up random mofo’s, and win in tournaments. You also have to deliver pizza to make a living and eat the proper food to survive. There are many ways to climb to the top and it’s up to you to decide how you get there.

6. Rival Kingdoms, Space Ape Games

chinese app store rival kingdoms space ape games
Rival Kingdoms

Last but not least, I want to recommend Rival Kingdoms. This game is better than Clash of Clans in lots of ways. The 2D arts and UI animation in this game are stunning. The Ancients system, which allows you to choose your favorite set of magic to aid your battle, adds more unimaginable options to the battle. Also, I like how the game uses energy instead of requiring me to rebuild the units for the cooldown. This makes me feel much more comfortable sending the troops to battle without worrying how long I have waited to build the troops.

Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. Are you a mobile game developer? Check out the 3 Reasons Why You Should Launch Your Game In Chinese App Store now!

Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

Top 4 App Marketing Tips In China App Market

Top 4 App Marketing Tips In China App Market

Hey, everyone! This time, I will talk about four tips and tricks on how to do mobile marketing in China app market.

Here they are…

1. Choice of Chinese Ad Networks

Chinese advertisers and publishers are not familiar with western ad networks, so western ad networks (e.g. Google Adwords, Chartboost, and Tapjoy) are ineffective in China. The largest mobile ad networks in China are hosted by Tencent, Sina and Baidu, the owners of WeChat (China’s Facebook) and Weibo (China’s Twitter) and Baidu (China’s Google) respectively. These giant companies have monopolized the ad traffic in China, so you have to buy ads from them.

2. Social Media Sharing on WeChat & Weibo

In China, a whopping 91% of Chinese online users have social media accounts. This makes implementing both incentive and non-incentive social share in your app very effective in China. There won’t be any organic growth if the app does not connect to any social network because there’s no easy channel to get the words around. You have to integrate your apps with Tencent WeChat (China’s Facebook) and Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter) because Facebook and Twitter are prohibited in China app market.

3. Sponsored Tweets in WeChat & Weibo

Chinese marketers have a habit of advertising their apps through sponsored tweets of Chinese celebrities or interest groups, aka Key Opinion Leaders, on WeChat (China’s Facebook) and Weibo (China’s Twitter). Imagine David Beckham posting a football manager game on his twitter. This is one of the most effective ways to get quality installs due to the loyalty of the fans.

4. Social Media Growth Hacks in the Chinese Ways

Social media marketing on WeChat and Weibo has become the core component of any China app marketing plans in China. However, doing social media marketing in China is actually very different from the other parts of the world. I wrote a separate post to talk about it. Check it out in this post “6 Social Media Hacks for Publishing Your Mobile App & Game in China“.

I hope the tips above can give you some ideas of app marketing in the China app market. If you are interested in knowing more details, feel free to leave a comment below.

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

* indicates required


Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

6 App Marketing Tips For Social Media In China

6 App Marketing Tips For Social Media In China

Social media in China is super hot: a whopping 91% of Chinese online users have social media accounts, compared to just 67% in the USA (Tech in Asia). This phenomenon makes social media a very key component of app marketing in China.

However, facebook, twitter, Google, and other western social media are banned in China. To do social marketing in China for your mobile app, you need to use Tencent WeChat (China’s Facebook) and Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter) instead.

Chinese always has its own ways of doing things, and social media in China is no exception. I’ve summarized some of them below:

Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter)

 

1. Official Account (similar to Twitter Verified Account)

You can register an official mini-blog account in Weibo for your app. Every official account will have a “V” sign on the profile picture, and people can recognize the account as a genuine account.

2. Sticky Mini-Blog

If you share a mini-blog with your official account and you don’t want your followers to miss it because of too many mini-blogs from other people, you can bump your mini-blog to the top of your followers’ wall. There’s a cost for this though in which Sina charges on a per-bump basis (just like how ad banner is paid by the number of impressions).

3. Sponsored Mini-Blog

This is the exact same thing as the sponsored post on Facebook. You can inject mini-blogs on walls of your target audience who are not your followers. Sina charges this on a per-impression basis.

4. Lucky Draw with Incentives

Sina Weibo officially offers a unique lucky draw feature for official account. You can set up a lucky draw which their followers have to retweet your mini-blogs before they can enter the draw.

Social Media in China Weibo

Tencent WeChat (China’s facebook + Whatsapp Messager combined)

 

5. WeChat Service Account

A service account is a special account in WeChat for your app. The presentation of the service account can be coded so that it appears as a mini website. The owner can integrate additional features, such as mobile payment, GPS locator, mini games, and even an online store into the site. However, you can only broadcast four instant messages a month. This type of account is recommended for retail or service app companies.

Social Media in China Wechat social media service account

6. Subscription Account

Subscription account appears like a simple account in any messenger, and the owner usually uses this account as a customer service hub. Users can ask you questions in private through instant messages with this account, and go to your wall to read blogs and announcements. You can also broadcast one instant message to all your followers every day. This type of account is recommended for software or game app companies.

Social Media in China WeChat bot

Nowadays, almost all Chinese mobile apps use these social network features to keep their communities posted. These are becoming the standards of what every brand must do in the social media in China.

I hope you find the above points interesting. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

* indicates required


Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

10 Successful Western Apps In China You Have Not Heard Before

10 Successful Western Apps In China You Have Not Heard Before

I’d like to share some stories about western developers who have succeeded in China. They published their apps in China without a Chinese publisher, and they got onto the top charts.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

A classic story from Minecraft: Pocket Edition demonstrates how a western app can make big money in the China without a Chinese publisher. The developer Mojang has released Minecraft in China for some time, but it was not going anywhere until June 2015. During that month, the developer released Version 0.11.1 that introduced official Chinese interface support. That update spurred a massive growth and lifted the game to the number one spot in the bestseller rankings in July.

Did Mojang partner with a Chinese publisher? Nope.

Did they change its design? Nope.

Did they change the game to a freemium model for China? Nope.

The only remarkable change was the Chinese interface. The lesson learned here: if your product is good, you neither need a Chinese publisher nor you need to change the core product designs for China.

Any Others?

Well, you might think Minecraft is super hit worldwide, and that’s why it can win big in China. If this is what you’re thinking, have you heard of these apps below?

1. rop, by MildMania

2. LIMBO, by Playdead

3. Give It Up!, by Invictus

4. Dark Echo, by RAC7 Games

5. Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy, by Atypical Games

6. Lep’s World, by nerByte GmbH

7. 1010!, by GramGames

8. Lifeline…, by 3 Minute Games, LLC

9. Numberful, by Midnight Tea Studio

10. Does not Commute, by Mediocre AB

and this list can go on and on…

Chances are that you haven’t heard all of them, right? Interestingly enough, they all got to the top ranking in China without a Chinese publisher! In fact,Give It Up! had become the #1 paid app in China iOS ranking in March 2015 and stayed in top 10 for a long time.

I’m not saying it is easy to win in China. It does need serious work. What I’m saying is it is possible as long as you do it correctly.

Note that most top ranking western apps in China are based on iOS. Their Android versions are facing a whole lot of difficulties. In fact, even Clash of Clans failed to make a single penny when it launched its Android version in China! I will tell you why in the future.

Stay tuned!

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

* indicates required


Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.

How Big Is The China App Market Compared To The United States?

How Big Is The China App Market Compared To The United States?

According to App Annie, China app market already surpassed the U.S. by downloads in 2015.

In terms of revenue, the top country is the U.S., followed by Japan and China. However, the growth in the U.S. is slowing down, while it is ramping up quickly in China.

In the mobile gaming sector, compared to the U.S.’s $5.2 billion revenues, China’s mobile gaming industry earned $4.4 billion last year, and the market is expected to surpass the U.S.’s $7.3 billion in 2016, according to China Daily.

china app market china vs us mobile market revenue chart

According to Tech in Asia, there are more mobile gamers in China than the total U.S. population. We expect that by the end of 2016, China will be the #1 mobile gaming market by both revenue and downloads.

*Update: China indeed surpassed the U.S. by iOS game revenue in 2016. It has become the world number #1 mobile gaming market on iOS platform. It is the king of both revenue and downloads.

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt, China app market will take over the mobile world. This is a golden opportunity for western app developers, especially considering the lack of creativity in China. If you are a western app developer, you should seriously consider expanding your business beyond the saturated U.S. and other markets to China now.

P.S. Wanna ride on the big wave of the Chinese mobile market?

Read the 7 Mistakes Mobile Devs Must Avoid in China

Sign up now to check out our Case Study on How App Store Optimization Increased App Downloads by 1478% in a Month.

* indicates required


Marcus is a tech entrepreneur & a father of 3 daughters.
He is the founder of Meatti, which helps mobile app developers increase app downloads using artificial intelligence.