Google is not faring well in China due to the government’s restrictions. Now the Great Firewall of China has blocked the Android Market, the online app store for Android smartphone users. This is not the first time that Android Market was blocked in China, it had happened once before in 2009. For the Android users in China, they only have an option to use other local app stores. This move might very well have been due to giving more business opportunities to the local startups rather than the official Android’s app store …
Update: Android market can be accessible in China now. More info, see here.
The Chinese local app stores offer most of the content for free and Android devices are often not synched with Android Market, so the Chinese users usually use them. There is also a number of online forums to download the cracked version apps. It is something that Google definitely does not appreciate, already the search giant is facing tough competition to have its own place in China due to its local search rival, Baidu. Google also faces a severe deficit of trust with the Chinese government.
On the other hand, Android phones sold through official channels are never equipped with Google’s Android Market. The replacement is usually provide by the Chinese state-owned telecom operators, whose middling offerings leave a huge market gap for the local startups to provide downloads for mobile apps. We believe the official Android Market has no national security issue. We won’t know what is the cause behind the block, the only guess might be the Chinese authorities are dishing out more ‘punishment’ to Google. Google should worry about missing out on the lucrative business of selling mobile apps in China.
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