Android App Stores in China
The ios distribution and promotion flow in China works in the same or similar way it does outside of China; the Android, however, is a totally different story, considering there are over 200 app stores, a.k.a distribution platform.
Outside China, the store is the point of sale, while marketing catalysts are the media sources. In China, all marketing activities within a store are driven by the stores themselves, supplemented by other out-of-store promotion, mainly on mainstream media like bytedance, baidu, wechat etc.
There are two types of stores in China: 3rd party stores dominated by Tencent, Baidu, 360 and handset makers like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, which are becoming more and more popular thanks to their captive user bases and growing audiences. Here is the list of top 10 Android stores in China.
Releasing to a single app store is not an option unless you have an incredibly strong and established brand that will draw players to that store despite them not having the marketplace app installed on their phone as one of their preferred stores. Any single store lacks the reach to address the broader market despite claims to the contrary.
In China, android app stores do both app distribution and promotion. Despite the fact that there are over 200 app stores in China and they require more creatives and certificates than Google Play, distribution process is actually not vastly different on each of them. Promotion in these app stores is complicated and tricky. It starts from ASO to virtually promote your app in prime locations on these app stores, which is experience-taking and time-consuming.