Amazon, the company that popularized electronic books, has just launched an app store in China. Unlike Google’s Chinese Play Store, Amazon’s store offers not just free applications, but paid ones as well. Now to the casual observer this isn’t really newsworthy, but to me it’s monumental.
First obvious question is why? China is a very interesting market when it relates to Android. A majority of the Android devices sold in China aren’t connected to Google in any way whatsoever. I’m not even talking about the no-name phones and tablets you buy from the flea market, if you buy a brand new Note II or GS4, it’ll come loaded with the services that are China only. And as much as I hate to say this, several Chinese app stores already exist that have pirated versions of applications that are popular in the West.
Second question is do the Chinese even care about Amazon? Amazon may be a household brand in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other European markets, but they’re nobody in China. So why enter then? Is it a trust thing? Malware in China is a serious thing, so maybe they can guarantee people there a clean Android experience?
It’s going to be fun to watch this. Jeff Bezos, the guy in charge of Amazon, is one incredibly talented individual, though it’s hard to say what his ultimate goal is for the company.