China is a black hole of data in most reports about Android apps. For the rest of the world, you can just use Google Play data, no other app store really matters. Not so in China.

So at Wandoujia we wanted to create an to infographic (below) to help foreign developers understand the market and also promote the launch of our own developer center–it’s in English now!

Here’s what stood out to me in creating this infographic:

  • In games, foreign developers make big hits. For the most part, Chinese play the same mobile games as the rest of the world: it’s a huge opportunity for developers like Rovio, Com2Us, and Halfbrick. But watch out, local developers dominate in apps.
  • Monetization is growing quickly, especially over the past 6 months. Or to put it more precisely, we track bid prices for advertising slots: that is, how much developers are willing to pay for the download of their app. This is a strong proxy: as monetization improves, developers bid more. For some RPG ‘hardcore’ mobile games, developers are even willing to pay 10 RMB (1.60 USD) per download.
  • Tencent has sprinted far ahead in mobile, with 4 of the top 10 apps. The distance of Tencent’s early lead is breathtaking: I never expected QQ and WeChat to be installed on almost 60% of phones while most of the other top apps are at less than 20%. I’ve seen lots of lists of China’s top apps, but haven’t this coverage rate reported anywhere else.
    • A note on our methodology: The Wandoujia user tends to be slightly more high-end than the average in China, so that means that the coverage rate of Tencent’s apps (especially QQ) are probably slightly undercounted. Our own app isn’t counted here because it’s on 100% of the phones for these users–that’s how we’re able to get this data on which apps they’ve installed.

Disclosure: If it wasn’t already clear above (!), I work at Wandoujia, an Android app store and search engine based in Beijing.