Half of China's app developers lost money in Q3

Half of China's app developers lost money in Q3

Summary: An increasing number of app developers are now losing money in the country, indicating a harder time for these players to survive with investment slowing down and homogenized products flooding the market.


According to the latest research by iiMedia Research, in the first quarter of the year, only 29.7 percent and 15.2 percent of Chinese apps developers reported either profit gains or flat growth, respectively, during the three months while 55.1 percent indicated they could not make ends meet.

The slowdown in investments in mobile Internet since the start of 2012 has aggravated the plight of the survival of Chinese mobile application developers. On the other hand, the profit model of most mobile Internet products remains unclear in China, which, together with the homogenization of products flooding the market, have imposed great pressure to these apps developers for survival in the country nowadays, said the report.

Only 24.3 percent were individual developers, down significantly from the previous quarter, said the report. App development teams with members fewer than five people now accounted for 60.2 percent of the market in China, compared with teams with over 20 members, which only accounted for less than 8 percent of the market today.

Due to the poor market conditions, most of these app developers are now at the edge of profitability. Some individual developers have finally decided to quit. Some also may have started to team up with other individual developers to form a small team these days, according to the report.

The report showed that these apps developers most wanted funding and marketing support in China, which were highlighted by 58.5 percent and 43.9 percent, respectively. Some 34.4 percent and 30.2 percent of developers also expressed desire for shared user data and personnel support, respectively.

Most small mobile apps developers showed less concern about capital markets and market exposure, which had restricted them in terms of market growth and expansion, according to the report.

The report also showed that the proportion of developers focusing on Android platform continued to rise in China, to 80.7 percent in the third quarter, while those for Apple iOS declined to 12.3 percent. Some 3.5 percent of developers created apps for Windows Phone platform, according to the report.


Topics: Apps, Android, iOS, China, Windows Phone

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  • I am surprised it only half.

    That almost half indicated they were profitable is actually impressive. Apps are no longer single person adventures and the decent ones take a solid team of people with various skills set.
    • Android fragmentation hurts them

      Imagine you write one Android app and then have to debug it on 3,000 different Android devices to make sure it runs consistently. How could such process make any money for them?
      • Re: Android fragmentation hurts them

        When you consider that just the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, has on its own achieved more market penetration in the last six months than Microsoft's entire mobile efforts over the last two years, it makes it pretty clear which platform is the one suffering from "fragmentation".

        And meanwhile, buyers of Apple's Iphone 5 are still wondering when those black bars are going to go away from all their apps.
        • 2 Zings in 1 Post

          Congratulations on the 2 quick jabs at MS and Apple.
          I clap in approval - http://tinyurl.com/3uhxcwx

          All kidding aside. I see this as a great time for these groups to start looking at BB and MS for a fresh start. Might seem silly but can't hurt.
  • The apps stores are a disorganized mess, so it isn't too surprising.

    700,000+ apps crammed into roughly a dozen categories and that is it as far as organization or practical filtering goes.

    Most apps might as well not even exist.
  • A bit of justice I think

    China has been openly stealing software for as long as I can remember. Now they want to get paid and I'm supposed to care?
  • Half of China's app developers lost money in Q3

    in the early life of m$, gates threaten its user base that if they will not pay (meaning stop pirating their software), that they (m$) will stop writing cool software (not exactly his word verbatim), but you get the gist. the same is happening in china and in other emerging economies. just like the m$s and apples of the then nascent personal computers, they kind of borrowing the technology until they can do it themselves. think of them as babies learning to speak and walk, they need support from their parents and adults for free. unfortunately for china et al., they will become serious competition (unlike the homegrown copycats that spearheaded the financial and technical marvel of the 70's and beyond that made us rich beyond imagination) that is why we are withholding that support through copyright. had there been a dmca at that time, gates, jobs et al. would have been in the hot seat and may not have done their whiz magic that created m$, apples etc and the riches that came with them. china will do the same, however much maligning you hurled at them, they will support their nascent industry come hell whatever... and in the end, just like us copying from the europeans, they will reap the reward of copying from us.
  • Not to worry

    ...they'll make up the loss from all the personal data those apps mine from your smartphones.
  • Oh well...

    THey'll switch from appware developing to crapware or malware development.