Writing for PCMag, Sascha Segan highlights that the Chinese government has granted Apple access to a huge smartphone subscriber market while other foreign companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter continue to struggle to get a foothold in the country. China is renowned for giving preferential treatment to local companies such as Baidu, Sina, QQ, Alibaba, Meizu and Xiaomi, Segan said.
China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier with 760 million subscribers. Analysts are estimating Apple will only sell 15-20 million devices there this year. China‘s a largely unsubsidized market, iPhones are expensive there, and the really huge growth is in $100-300 Android phones. That’s probably part of why the Chinese government finally let China Mobile sign this deal.
According to Sascha Segan:
Android does spectacularly in China, but Google gets little back from that. The fastest growing mobile OS in China is the non-Googleized AOSP (Android Open Source Platform), which is Android with all the Google services stripped out of it. Only 5.6% of Android users in China download apps from the Google Play store.[..]
Google doesn’t seem to have any traction in China; the company’s whole story over there has been about retrenching and retreating. Ultimately, that’s probably because while Apple and Microsoft are basically product companies, Google is an information service. The Chinese government takes a much narrower view of “information services”…