Google is hoping to bring its Play Store to China in 2016, according to a report from Reuters. Google is reportedly planning to comply with China's content restrictions by building a separate version of the Play Store disconnected from the main store, and will store data from that app store in the country. A report earlier this year from The Information claimed Google wanted to launch the Play Store in China this fall, but it seems those plans have been pushed back.
Google may build a separate version of the Play Store for China
It's been five years since Google had a substantial presence in China. The company pulled out of the country after refusing to censor search results for the communist nation. But times are changing, and the Chinese market has rapidly become the most affluent untapped resource for companies like Google and Facebook, who is also not operating in China.
With Google out of the picture in China, Apple has grown its user base in the country, and Chinese startups like Baidu and Wandoujia have taken the place of Google Search and the Play Store, respectively. If and when Google launches its Play Store in China, it will have a fight on its hand to grab market share away from the incumbents.
We've reached out to Google for comment.