Chinese company NetEase is reportedly in negotiations with Google to deliver a heavily censored, but official Google Play Store to the mainland market, according to The Information.
The word comes as we saw no movement by Google on making its Play Store available last year. Propagating that venture, though, may have proven too difficult for a company based in a digitally unrestricted country, relatively speaking, complying with draconian regulations. Partial state-owned entity Lenovo publicly appealed to Google on collaboration over a potential plot for the Play Store last year.
NetEase holds licenses for MMOs of Blizzard franchises and also has original MMOs as well as mobile games in China.
We don’t know if this effort ultimately gets realized as the Chinese government seems pretty happy to box out Google and the open internet without much consideration. Will enough censoring really convince top hats in the Communist Party?