Chinese iOS pirate Kuaiyong launches web app store

Bad news for Apple developers targeting PRC

Top three mobile application threats

A Chinese group which has made it its mission to take a bite out of Apple’s iTunes revenue share is at it again, launching a full web version of its iOS app store jam-packed with pirated content.

Chinese language app Kuayiong was originally launched at the tail end of last year to fill the gap left by the equally dodgy jailbreak app Installous.

Its mission: to allow local fanbois to download and install pirated apps on their iDevices without jailbreaking them in a quick, easy and secure manner – which was bad news for both Apple and community of iOS developers.

Far from being squashed in double quick time by Apple’s legal team, however, Kuayiong has bemusingly been spared and now allowed to launch a web site version of its app which will help promote its services to an even broader audience.

As per the original app, www.7659.com features a range of pirated iOS apps and games which users can search for by category, or user rankings.

According to TechInAsia, which spotted the site, 7659 is not currently accessible to users outside of China, although it does appear to work in Hong Kong.

However, the group behind the venture is planning to target an international audience with the launch of an English language version of its app, although this has been promised since January.

In a cheeky notice on the Kuayiong English language site, the group claimed that since the introduction of the app jailbreaking in China has actually fallen dramatically from around 60 per cent to 30 per cent.

It’s unlikely that Apple will be particularly appreciative, especially as the large number of unofficial iOS app stores in the world’s largest smartphone market appears to be impacting revenues.

A report last year by Shanghai analyst Stenvall Skoeld claimed official App Store revenues in China account for just three per cent of the global total but 18 per cent of worldwide downloads.

Such stats will probably put off those enterprising, and multi-lingual, developers thinking of targeting the PRC. ®

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