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Motorola pulls out of China, leaves locals behind till of Android shop

Google not Play(ing) in PRC any time soon

Google's hardware arm has shuttered its Chinese Android store, one of the few which lets punters pay for apps, saying its work is done and the competition is too fierce.

SHOP4APPS was set up by Motorola in 2010, providing an Android marketplace in a region where Google Play still fears to tread, but Google's absence combined with the success of Android has spawned a plethora of competing app stores in China - forcing Motorola to hand over SHOP4APPS to a local partner.

The handover means applications will still work, and developers can still submit their apps, but they'll be vetted and sold by Crossmo Technology without the backing of Google-owned Motorola.

"Our goal was to accelerate consumer demand for Android products," says the statement from Motorola China supplied to Tech in Asia. "Chinese consumers now have many mobile app store alternatives where they can access an extensive inventory of local and international Android apps. For these reasons, Motorola Mobility will be closing SHOP4APPS on December 26, 2012."

Tech In Asia also rates Motorola's pitch into the Chinese market, pointing out that the company has done well to modify designs to local tastes and tried hard to localise services, but that work has been undermined by cheaper alternatives - leaving Samsung as the only foreigner capable of competing.

It also leaves China as one of the few markets where Android's promise of competitive app stores has been realised. Elsewhere it's Google Play or Amazon, with GetJar hanging onto the sides, but China has a truly open Android ecosystem, allowing us to see just how much malware and piracy such an ecosystem permits. ®

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