A few months ago a report surfaced suggesting that Google has plans to bring the Play Store to China, and today another report surfaced (via Reuters) that Google has plans to bring the Play Store to China. You read that sentence correctly; there isn’t anything new here. But if you had any doubt that Google was going to be headed (back) over the Pacific, I think you can put that doubt to rest…
Reuters’ report corroborates much of the information we learned earlier this year from The Information, suggesting that the Chinese Play Store will comply with the demands of the Chinese government in that sensitive and controversial content will be censored. Additionally, the Chinese Play Store will be completely separate from overseas versions and will comply with government regulations that require Google to store the store’s huge amounts of data within the country itself.
Google, part of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), aims to launch the China version of its Google Play smartphone app store next year, according to people familiar with the matter, its first major foray in the market since ending localized product support in 2010.
The Google Play app store would be set up specifically for China, and not connected to overseas versions of Google Play, two of the people said.
China is just a market much too large for Google to ignore, especially as the company’s main competitors continue to set up shop in the country (literally and figuratively). The aforementioned earlier report suggested that Android Wear support coming to China would be one of the first signs of Google’s dedication to entering the market, and not long after that an Android Wear smartwatch from Chinese company Elephone purportedly leaked (and has yet to be announced).
According to Reuters, the Chinese Play Store is set to launch sometime next year.