Lenovo mobile chief: Google Play is coming to China this year

Google is getting closer to a Play Store return in China according to a top Lenovo executive. What concessions or modifications will Google have to make, however?
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

It's no secret that Google wants its Play Store, apps and services back in China. That will happen this year, according to someone who should know: Chen Xudong, the head of China-based Lenovo's mobile group.

Tech.Sina reported Xudong's commentary on Monday, as noted by 9to5 Google, although he didn't share details of when such a move is expected to happen.

Still, that jives with earlier reports last year that a special version of the Google Play Store will launch in China after several years of absence there. And since then, David Singleton, Engineering Director for Android, said the Moto 360 Android Wear watch will launch in China; Google's smart watch platform leans heavily on Google's apps and services.

Android itself is actually present on many China phones, but it's not the version that brings Google any revenue. Instead, handset makers there have relied on the AOSP, or Android Open Source Project, software combined with other China-based services and app stores.

Google simply can't ignore the massive population base China has and cede the market to plain vanilla Android handsets and - in growing numbers - Apple's iPhone, which does have its iTunes App Store available in the world's most populous nation.

The devil's in the details though. What modifications or concessions does Google have to make with China's government to bring the Google Play Store to that region?

Whatever they are, Google is likely to make them: Any larger mobile presence in China is better than what Google has today.

Editorial standards