Google may be about to embrace Chinese smartphone users in a big way
Doing business in China can be tricky, to make an understatement. While the nation offers access to a gigantic user base, concerns over security and censorship can be difficult to adequately address, and that’s led companies like Google to seriously ramp down its efforts in the nation. At least, that’s been the situation for several years now, but things may finally be looking up for Sino-Google relations, as a new report claims that Google is working on a special version of its Play Store for China.
That would mean working with state censors to monitor app content, while turning to big Chinese OEMs like Huawei to push sales of phones that are pre-loaded with access to this new Play Store. And while the effort isn’t directly framed as one intended to drive sales of new hardware, the suggestion that this Chinese Play Store would be Marshmallow-only may end up encouraging shoppers to pick up new devices, rather than waiting for updates that may never come.
We also hear a little about the impact this move could have on Android Wear, and increased access to Google Play Services could mean big things for the growth of Google’s efforts with wearables. And certainly, we’ve talked about the issues smartwatch-makers are facing when hoping to sell such devices to shoppers in China.
Google’s timetable could be moving quickly for this effort, with a launch arriving as soon as this fall.