Google Play app store returns to China

google play may be back in china soon
Halfpoint/Shutterstock
Google may be fast learning how to let bygones be bygones, especially when there’s a huge potential untapped market in play. After leaving altogether in 2010 following a highly publicized censorship battle, the tech company may be returning to China with the Google Play app store. And considering Apple’s recent success in convincing Chinese developers to write apps for its own app store, it’s no coincidence that Google is recognizing that now is as good a time as any to get back in the game.

Last quarter, China was the biggest market in the world for app downloads from the Apple app store, though the United States still led in terms of paid downloads. But with this sort of opportunity, Google simply can’t afford to ignore the Chinese market anymore, and according to Shanghai’s China Business News, the tech giant is deep in conversations to reintroduce the play store to billions of potential new customers.

Back in February, Google senior vice president of products Sundar Pichai told Forbes, “I see it (China) as a huge opportunity in which we are playing as an enabling platform today and hopefully we have a chance to offer other services in the future.” And now, just four months later, Wang Yanhui, director of Mobile China Alliance, has told Chinese outlets that he expects the search engine to soon be making an appearance in overseas markets, offering its sizable bevy of apps and games to eager consumers.

But just because Google enters the Chinese market doesn’t mean it will command it. Qihoo360’s 360 Mobile Assistant and Chinese search engine Baidu both have app stores of their own that are hugely popular in their home countries. And of course, Google faces the additional hurdle of some of their services’ bans in the highly censored nation. Rockchip Electronics senior vice president Chen Feng noted, “The problem Google has now is that its Gmail and map are blocked (in China). The key question is whether the government will lift the ban.”

Still, if Google is being allowed to enter the Chinese market, this may bode well for a number of other American technology companies that are also currently locked out of the country. So bury a hatchet Google, and perhaps open up the doors for the rest of us.

Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Computing

Core i9s and Threadrippers are all powerful, but should you go AMD or Intel?

The battle for the top prosumer CPUs in the world is on. In this head to head, we pit the Core i9 versus the Threadripper to see which is the best when it comes to maximizing multi-core performance on a single chip.
Mobile

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Mobile

There are four versions of the Mate 20, but which one is the best?

Huawei revealed its full range of Mate 20 handsets, and it seems that there is a device that fits everyone's needs. We've compared all the options, including the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 X, the Mate 20, and the Mate 20 Lite.
Mobile

Keep your new Google phone pixel perfect with the best Pixel 3 cases

If you want your new Google phone to stay pixel perfect, then you should snag one of the best Pixel 3 cases. We've scoped out some of your best options so far based on different styles, levels of protection, and budgets.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.
Mobile

Huawei is working on a 5G foldable phone, the Mate 20 X may be its template

Huawei is working on a folding 5G smartphone, according to the company's CEO, Richard Yu. He also provoked speculation the phone may have something in common with the massive Mate 20 X and its 7.2-inch screen.
Mobile

Master your new Google phone with these handy Pixel 3 and 3 XL tips

If you’re hunting for some Pixel 3 tips to help you get more from your Google phone, then you’ll find them right here. We’ve got tips for shortcuts, camera controls, and more. All these tips will also work for the Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now available for purchase

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The five-camera LG V40 ThinQ is now available from the major carriers

LG has finally taken the wraps off the new LG V40 ThinQ, the company's latest and greatest flagship phone that packs a whopping five cameras. Here's how to buy the new LG V40 ThinQ.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.