We’ve seen an increasing interest from Chinese mobile apps in expanding overseas. The categories range from those that have been proven successful in China such as Tencent’s WeChat, the new that got traction first in overseas markets like Sungy Mobile’s GO Launcher, to newly emerged smartphone management apps who bet that their technologies can beat those in less developed markets.
Naturally, third parties, from mobile payments solution providers to app marketing services, came to help them reach more users or with monetization. Like Qihoo CEO recently pointed out, initial overseas expansion largely depends on third parties who are knowledgeable about different markets.
While many Chinese third-party services have seen the trend and now are making good money by acquiring overseas users for Chinese mobile apps, some foreign services sensed it too and think they are better positioned as they started with non-China markets and have had a global presence.
Fortumo is an Estonian mobile payments solution provider. It offers a solution for developers to embed into their mobile apps that enables direct carrier billing in more than 300 countries. Also its own app store is available in many countries that can bring some apps to those markets. The company has set up an office in Beijing, China and started a campaign to encourage local developers to use its solution for collecting money overseas.
IronSource is a new comer that is building a presence in China. Headquartered in Israel and with office in San Francisco in the US, the company offers cross-platform solutions for app distribution and monetization. Founded back in 2009, ironSource claims its solution has enabled 2 billion installs.
The company has has a dozen clients in China that include Chinese search giant Baidu.
Similar to other app marketing services, ironSource acquires users and improve monetization for apps. What differs it from other major players is it also offers PC-based app distribution services.
Mobile seems everyone’s focus right now. But some Chinese mobile services have realized that their successful Chinese business models may not work out in overseas markets. It has something to do with Chinese user behaviors and language barrier, but also has a lot to do with the fact that China is a walled market where Google Play and other global services are absent.
But still there are some PC-based business models that I personally think can work out in some overseas markets. So it’s interesting to hear that some Chinese tech companies are working on distributing their PC-based applications with ironSource.