With over 1 billion monthly active users combined, the app stores of Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Tencent are the five largest Android app stores in China. If you want to take your Android app to the Chinese market, these are the stores you should first prepare to launch it on.
So, what is the procedure for submitting your app for distribution approval to these five stores?
Here are the steps to make your app available to Chinese users on the above-mentioned top five Android app stores.
Step 1: Register a developer account on the app store’s website and complete verification (1 – 2 working days)
To distribute and promote your app on Chinese distribution platforms, developers must first create an account on each platform where they want to launch their app, followed by real-name verification as an individual or an entity.
Individuals must provide scanned copies of their ID cards and bank documents, as well as their basic personal information, to complete the real-name verification process. A DUNS number and/or business license are typically required for entities, and you may need to transfer a small payment from your corporate bank account to the app store’s bank account in order to validate your bank account.
Given that you will need to distribute your app across multiple platforms, it is best to use the same information when registering each account in order to avoid any IP disputes and reclaim ownership of your app if it is illegally copied.
Step 2: Submit your app’s APK and creative sets (description, screenshots, short video demo, etc.) as well as any associated documents such as the Software Copyright Certificate and ICP Filing
The description and creative sets you provide to the app store reflect your app’s positioning, target audience, and core features. These will not affect the outcome of your app’s review and are allowed to be changed once per year after launch, but to save time and prepare for app store optimization early on, we strongly recommend that all information uploaded here is carefully considered and consistent across all app distribution platforms. Before you finalize your app’s profile, please check our guide on Chinese App Store Optimization.
Required documents and certificates will need to be uploaded in this step. A Software Copyright Certificate (used to prove app ownership and reclaim unauthorized copies) and an ICP Filing (required for every online content provider in China) are always required. Other licenses, such as the B21 EDI License (required for e-commerce companies), B25 Commercial ICP License, or the Broadcast and Television License (required if your app involves video display) may be required depending on the functionality and content of your app.
Step 3: Wait for approval to be listed on the app store or receive notifications about changes needed to pass review (usually 3 – 5 working days)
This usually takes three to five business days, but it can take up to a week for apps with complex functions. Apps that have been approved for distribution will be made available online once the review is completed. Back-up documents, design tweaks, content changes, and user agreements will be pending for a second review, during which time the developer can communicate with the app-review team to get more instructions on what to change to make the app fully compliant with Chinese laws.
What are the most common issues that distribution platforms ask developers to fix?
Each app may require unique modifications due to the nature and scope of its services. However, AppInChina’s operations team has assisted over 300 apps in passing review and publishing in China, and the following are some things that we strongly advise all developers to double-check before submitting their APK to the app store:
As new regulations are enacted, the requirements for the aforementioned fields are constantly changing. With our years of experience in app distribution, AppInChina can save you the time spent doing your own research to be as prepared as possible to shorten the pre-distribution review time. Contact us here to request a free assessment so we can tell you if your app has any outstanding issues that will delay its release.