Most app developers in the USA and Europe don’t keep an eye on in the Chinese app markets. You probably already know that Google Play is blocked in China, which means your app is unavailable to over 70% of the Mainland China market (1.1 billion users).
But if you do a quick search of a few of the top Chinese app stores, you may discover that your app is already available on at least one of them.
If you find it and didn’t put it there, this should concern you. What appears to be your app can only be one of three things:
The best defense against these tactics is to take control. These are the steps we recommend:
Chinese law provides copyright protection for software companies to protect your IP in the app marketplace. First registering a Software Copyright Certificate (SCC). This is a multi-step process that you can handle easily in our dashboard.
We recommend going one step further to register your trademark in China. Your brand name, app name, and logo are some of your most valuable assets. Because China is a first-to-apply country, he sooner you register your copyright, the better.
Link: Learn how to register a trademark in China.
Once you are on firm legal ground, you can contact the Chinese app stores to have unauthorized versions of your app taken down. This is a time-consuming process that will require a fluent Mandarin speaker to contact each store directly, but this is a service that we provide to our customers.
Link: How to Reclaim Your Unauthorized Android App from a Chinese app store.
Finally, if you already have a Chinese business license and entity, we recommend distributing your official app to the top 15 Chinese Android app stores yourself so that only your authorized version is available to mobile users in China.
Just because it’s been done once doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. You can use the free tool in our dashboard to periodically scan the top Android app stores in China for future violations.
Making your app available in China yields far greater benefits than simply protecting yourself from counterfeit, fraud and brand damage. It opens up your user base to the whopping 1.1 billion Chinese Android users who cannot access Google Play, greatly expanding your adoption rates and revenue stream.
AppInChina’s international English-speaking team of experts can simplify this painful process for you with our exclusive one-on-one service. We can help you localize, publish, grow and monetize your Android app, and help protect your IP from these violations.