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Amazon beats Google to open Chinese app store

Kick in the teeth for the Chocolate Factory

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Amazon has opened an Android app store in China before Google, with the Android Appstore open for business in the middle kingdom.

Google's Play store has technically been around for a while in the People’s Republic and its Android OS has a huge lead in the smartphone market, but Play has been subject to periodic blocking by the Great Firewall and still doesn’t stock paid apps – instead most users visit home-grown third party stores to buy their apps.

Now Amazon has added to the Chocolate Factory’s woes with its surprise move into the world’s biggest smartphone market to become the first Western firm selling Android apps there.

China was not on the original list of nearly 200 countries the e-commerce giant said it would roll the app store out to but something has obviously changed its mind.

Amazon has already sought to get Chinese developers on board, with the lure of having their content marketed to 200 countries globally.

The bookseller-turned-PaaS company's Kindle Store launched in China late last year and Kindle iOS apps also available in the country, some have speculated that this latest announcement may be the last piece in the puzzle prefacing a full launch for Amazon’s popular e-reader devices in the Middle Kingdom.

Last month Amazon also rolled out its Cloud Drive personal cloud storage service.

Although the Chinese government treats Western technology firms with a certain degree of suspicion it seems like the e-commerce giant, unlike Google, has been able to stay on the right side of the authorities in what could prove to be a very lucrative strategy. ®

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