How can I understand my app’s performance in China?

Once a foreign app developer has successfully completed distribution, the next step is to work out how your app is doing in the local marketplace. Unfortunately, understanding how your app is performing in China isn’t a straightforward task. The Chinese app ecosystem has a very low level of data transparency and this has created a wide range of data sharing complexities.

Among these difficulties, there are three main obstacles that make understanding an app’s performance in China a tricky task for foreign app companies/developers.

Tracking Data

The first hurdle is monitoring your app’s overall performance. Many Chinese Android app stores have strict policies regarding foreign third-party solutions (especially for in-app analytics). As a result, when Android apps embedded with well-known international tracking solutions are uploaded to these channels, they can either be rejected or lose full functionality. This problem can result in app developers deciding to publish a stripped-down version of their APK and rely solely on the app store’s data metrics.

Reading Data

The second issue is interpreting your app’s performance data. Since data sharing policies for local companies in China are very tight, not all data metrics and user information collected is disclosed, especially on third-party app stores that are partially or fully funded by government owned companies. Additionally, when data is publically shared, the accuracy level can fluctuate, with the likelihood of inflated data and false customer reviews increasing or decreasing depending on how well the app is performing. This obstacle can cause app developers to make data forecasts and plan marketing strategies based on a limited and sometimes unclear view of their app’s performance.

Protecting Data

The third obstacle is shielding your app’s performance data. In China, it’s not uncommon for third-party Android app stores to share or sell in-app analytics to affiliated marketing and promotion providers. Additionally, more and more local hackers are using custom technology to scrape popular app data from live app stores, so they can redistribute them onto other prominent channels. This issue can leave app user data and information exposed and potentially lead to hacks and other security problems.

How can these obstacles be overcome?

Accurate data tracking and secure data protection can be achieved by pre-installing your own tracking solution, that will be undetectable to the stores, or by implementing a robust tracking solution SDK into your app, so you can track your users’ data directly, avoid using the app store’s questionable data and safeguard your users’ in-app analytics.

Furthermore, our unique app dashboard can help you read your app data by gathering all of your app’s information shared on the app stores to allow you to compare performance metrics, identify false data and create a more effective strategy moving forward.

We can also collect all your app’s unshared data from the individual app stores and create comprehensive download reports, which we can send to you on either on a weekly or monthly basis.

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