Google Inc expects to return to mainland China as early as this fall following a five-year absence, tech website The Information reported on Friday.
The company hopes to get Chinese government approval for a China version of its Play store mobile app, The Information reported, citing people familiar with the plan. (bit.ly/1NfthB8)
The tech giant is also planning to extend support of a version of Android for wearable devices in the country, The Information cited one of the people as saying.
China is hard to resist. It’s the biggest smartphone market in the world, in terms of units, and one of the largest, in terms of profit.
If Google does re-enter China, we’ll witness an interesting experiment: a well-funded mobile OS, with minimal app / app store share in this market, attempting to gain a foothold in the midst of thriving local app ecosystems.
If any device OEMs gain (a valid question), who would be most likely? Those without a well-established app ecosystem: Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo. If anyone suffers (again, a valid question), it’ll be a player with an established ecosystem, namely Xiaomi.