It’s no secret that smartphone manufacturers in China and the rest of the world pre-install apps in their products, for offering better services or for helping developer partners reach more users. It’s also no secret that installing apps in users’ smartphones without letting them know is a lucrative business in China for not only smartphone makers but also for iOS jailbreaking/Android rooting services, or any other that has a chance to have apps installed in users’ smartphones.

Chinese mobile app developers would pay those channels from less than one yuan to several yuan for an installation or activation. It’s not that only small developers do so for users, but Chinese Internet giants spend big money there too given fierce competition in China market.

Chinese users seemed fine with those apps that unknowingly get into their phones, for either they don’t have any preferences or have little knowledge in the app ecosystem — they don’t know there are dozens of app stores for them to choose from, don’t know there are other apps of one certain category, or don’t know how to remove them.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com