So what is so-called Shuabang? That’s the Chinese saying of the manipulation practice of using various shady methods to propel an app onto the top of the App Store ranking. App-ranking manipulation has cornered small developers—their newborn apps might sink without the trick but the manipulation cost is really a financial burden to a small team. The status quo in China is that nearly 80% apps are ‘Shuabanged’ to the top rank, and hidden hands are in control of most Top 50 apps.

Shuabang: the Only Choice for small developers

Wu Gang, CEO of mobile game developer WiSTONE recently summed up the mobile game market in 2012, noting that ranking manipulation has developed from a bud to a necessity for Chinese mobile developers. On the other hand, It explained why Shubang became a burden to small teams since the flourishing market led to the rise of manipulation cost directly.

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Chelsea Dong

She reads, travels, photographs and writes, with interests in chronicling China tech scene and interpreting how technology disrupts the way people live.