I’m kicking off a review of the China’s mobile ecosystem for my client Singular. It’s a super-interesting space with it’s own mega apps and monster tech corporations, but then the great digital wall of China and significant government regulation on what can and can’t come into China.
Plus, more activist Chinese government intervention in private markets lately. Witness the whole Jack Ma saga, where he has apparently flown too close to the sun, been too successful, and too critical of the government, and has had his wings significantly clipped.
First step is this blog post on China mobile apps 2021.
China is almost literally a different world for mobile developers. Its size is unique: 989 million internet users out of a population of 1.4 billion. Its digital advertising market is massive: $80 billion in 2020 and with growth between 20-25% over the past few years, almost certainly higher in 2021. By some reports China accounts for 40% of mobile app spending. And its isolation is unique: the great firewall of China has very specific requirements for the apps and services that it allows in, and prevents much of the outside tech world from entering.
But not all.
And as a top-10 country in terms of smartphone penetration with little of North America’s and Europe’s legacy of desktop/laptop computing, almost all of China’s digital market and internet penetration is mobile. In other words: China is both a massive opportunity and a significant challenge.
Also potentially interesting: I did a TechFirst podcast about living and working in China during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. China’s mobile ecosystem is massive and in very real ways isolated from the rest of the world … but some foreign companies are able to succeed there.