Japan’s Kii Launches A Publishing Service To Help App Developers Crack The Chinese Market

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Now that China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market, it’s no surprise that many developers are intrigued by the prospect of a country that may have 500 million devices in circulation by the end of next year.

Because of that, plenty of companies like Yodo1, iDreamSky and CocoaChina have cropped up to help advise studios on how to navigate the unique complexities of the market. In China, you need to distribute through dozens of app stores and market through different social networks.

Kii Corp, which was created out of a merger three years ago between Servo Software and Synclore Corporation, is also getting into the game with its own publishing service.

With that, they’ll help with all of the standard things like integrating with China’s different in-app payment systems and mobile ad networks.

They’ll also integrate with China’s unique social networks like Sina Weibo and WeChat, because most players don’t access Facebook and Twitter because of the Great Firewall.

They’ll help with distribution to China’s many different Android app stores. There are about four to five leading ones, but beyond that there is a long tail of dozens of other ones.

“Google Play isn’t formally available in the Chinese market so a lot of developers can’t find out how to go there,” said Masanari Arai, who is Kii’s founder and CEO.

Then there are a few more pieces with handling quality assurance, translation and hosting apps through a mobile-backend-as-a-service product called Kii Cloud, which handles in-app analytics, cloud storage, user and data management. It’s a service that resembles Parse, which Facebook bought for at least $85 million excluding retention earlier this year.

Kii competes with many, many other players like iDreamSky, which publishes Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja and Imangi’s Temple Run in China. Yodo1 is also another emerging player, but they do a lot of hands-on work beyond translation to localize a game, such as changing the graphics and music to make them more appealing to Chinese tastes. Another publisher, CocoaChina, says that its first-party games are starting to see about $6 million a month, most of which is in China.

The company has a lower revenue share than its competitors, taking a 15 percent cut instead of the typical 50 percent share that we see.

Kii, which is Tokyo-based, has offices in Silicon Valley, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well.