Tencent, China’s largest internet company, launched their own app store platform. It’s called the Tencent Application Center, and they have already invited developers and advertisers.
According to a ChinaDaily report, Zhu Tax, director of Tencent’s application product department, the service will be free at first saying, “we will not consider charging users any fees at least within one to two years.” This is mostly due to tough competition from other app stores, such as Apple’s service. Even carriers, such as China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have launched similar types of stores, according to the report. There are also many smaller ones based on Android, that the report says is “too numerous to list.”
Interestingly, Tencent plans to offer financial help to developers. Of course they will only invest in the most promising developers. They are also particularly fond of Tencent’s subscriber base. Being that they are the largest internet service provider in China means they have lots of potential users. Even then, they worry about Tencent’s applications overshadowing theirs. Tencent says that they will remain neutral when it comes to providing resources for developers. The concern, however, is that of the 3 billion+ downloads from the service, third-party app makers only account for 550 million, Tencent’s internal applications make up 2.45 billion of those.
There are plenty of app stores and similar online storefronts out there. Apple’s isn’t the first, it won’t be the last, but it’s definitely established itself as the most popular: App Stores – The Rise of Digital Distribution