From the world’s best short video app, TikTok, to the biggest fast fashion app Shein and the emerging music video app StarMaker, a growing number of mobile apps developed by Chinese companies are influencing people’s daily lives. worldwide.
A new report from consultancy iResearch showed overseas revenue from Chinese entertainment apps grew 204% year-on-year in 2021.
Additionally, a report by US search giant Google indicates that app downloads by Chinese developers among the world’s top 1,000 apps have nearly doubled over the past decade, from 8% to 14%.
Industry experts said this demonstrated the strong innovative capabilities of Chinese companies, but they also faced challenges amid growing geopolitical tensions.
“Chinese enterprises are playing a greater role in global mobile app innovation, thanks to the rapid development of the digital economy. app developers,” said Wang Peng, a researcher at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.
“The Chinese government has also made great efforts to boost digital innovation and encourage enterprises to deeply integrate digital technologies into the real economy,” Wang added.
Wang also said that these efforts have led to the development of a group of industry leaders who can leverage their innovative ability to contribute to global industrial development.
The iResearch report noted that Chinese gaming apps continued to be the main driver of domestic app revenue overseas, but social media apps also showed growth momentum over the past year.
The United States, Japan, and South Korea were the main sources of overseas revenue for Chinese apps. Notably, Chinese app downloads also increased in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia last year, among which the African market was the largest, with a total growth rate of 18.9. % year-on-year. StarMaker, a karaoke video app allowing users to create and share music videos, quickly went viral in 102 countries and regions, where it became one of the top-selling music apps.
“The global market is promising for Chinese companies. Although it takes a long time to develop a brand in overseas markets, Chinese companies are good at research and development, which means that products can quickly be technology-driven and meet local needs,” Fang said. Han. , CEO of Kunlun, the developer of StarMaker.
“After being successful in one market, we are also able to quickly expand it to other countries,” Fang said, adding that the company has a dominant position in markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Smaller Chinese developers are also heating up the global mobile app market. US tech company Apple Inc said more than 5 million third-party developers in its iOS app ecosystem hail from China, up from 4.4 million a year ago, and they have increasingly become a major force in the global app economy.
However, Huang Leping, head of technology, media and telecommunications at Huatai Securities, said many challenges remain for Chinese companies to go global, especially as many countries have tightened their data protection policies. .
“In the past, companies have been able to build a set of algorithms in China and offer services in overseas markets, where data can be interconnected. But in the future, companies may need to build supporting facilities in various countries to do so, which will significantly increase their operating costs and risks,” Huang said.