As the local authority’s rigorous online clean-up grabs all of the headlines, China’s rural internet explosion continues at a phenomenal rate, with the number of rural internet users reportedly reaching 209 million (35% penetration rate) in the last 12 months.

The effect of this internet empowerment is well and truly being felt on mobile, as it’s estimated that 55 million people in rural areas use their phones to live-stream classes, 78 million read the news from the 3 primary news apps and there are 175 million users of short-video apps in these areas.

And this growth potential isn’t only a driving force for local Chinese tech powerhouses (Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu etc.), as proven by Google’s recent strategic re-entry into the market. Now that Google has one foot back on the ladder, the big question is will Tencent and the other major players be able to maintain their stranglehold on the app market if Google launches a China-friendly version of the Play Store in the 2nd half of the year.

By looking at AppInChina’s 2018 Q2 app store rankings, you can see that the Chinese Android app market is continuing to mature, with many of the app stores holding the same or similar presence over the last 90 days. However, this maturity has led to the local unicorns and smartphone companies completely dominating the market, as not one independent app store made it into the top 10.

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Graphics by TechNode

  1. Tencent MyApp (13.71%)

Despite its MAU decreasing over the last 3 months, Tencent MyApp is still the premier app store for Android devices in China.

  1. 360 Mobile Assistant (9.79%)

Qihoo 360 Mobile Assistant remains the 2nd most used app store, despite its MAU dropping below 10% for Q2.

  1. Oppo Software Store (8.83%)

The gap between 3rd and 4th place has narrowed, as Oppo Software Store MAU has fallen to under 9% for April-June.

  1. Baidu Mobile Assistant (8.60%)

Baidu’s share price may have plummeted recently, but Baidu Mobile Assistant has consolidated its position in the Android market, with an almost identical number of users for Q2.

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Graphics by TechNode

  1. Huawei App Market (8.22%)

Unlike Huawei’s recent bold prediction for its hardware, Huawei software hasn’t shown any signs of reaching the number 1 spot.

  1. MIUI App Store (6.05%)

Xiaomi MIUI App Store’s MAU has continued to slide, as their user base has now dropped to just above 6%.

  1. Vivo App Store (4.87%)

The ascension of Vivo App Store has kept up the pace, with only around 1% separating the two smartphone makers in 6th and 7th place.

  1. Sogou Mobile Assistant (3.52%)

After missing on the top 10 altogether in Q1, Sogou Mobile Assistant, the search engine’s flagship app store, has surged straight into 8th in Q2.

  1. PP Assistant (1.88%)

The emergence of Sogou Mobile Assistant has pushed PP Assistant down 1 place, but it remains the most valuable app store in Alibaba’s stable.

  1. Wandoujia (1.38%)

Wandoujia, Alibaba’s other prominent app store, has overtaken Anzhi Market and claimed the final position in the top 10.

Antony Chang is the Marketing Manager at AppInChina, who's been living between Shenzhen, Taipei and Beijing for over 8 years. He uses his experience in the Chinese app industry to help foreign apps optimize...

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