Google is continuing to open its Android platform to mobile developers in China after it announced a localized version of its Google Developers YouTube channel for the country.
The U.S. firm took a major step last November when it began allowing developers in China to make money via Android apps — although only from users based outside of China — and this new channel will help by increasing access to information and resources.
The channel is on YouTube — which will mean it gets disrupted by China’s censorship system, unless viewers use a (stable) VPN — and includes videos from the main developers channel with Chinese subtitles, as well as original content in Mandarin.
That English-language Developer Channel has more than 650,000 subscribers. It’s a useful resource for developers, covering a range of topics related to Android, Android Wear, web and other apps, general developments and information, and talking points from events like the Google Developer Conference.
Google Play itself remains blocked in China, and numerous third-party app stores have risen to take its place, including 91Wireless, a service that search giant Baidu bought for $1.9 billion in 2013. But, we live in a global age, and even though the Play Store is not accessible in China, developers based in the country can use it to distribute and sell apps to the hundreds of millions of Android devices in the rest of the world.
Google is doubtless missing out on revenue by not having its app store in China, and a report from The Information (paywalled) last year claimed its executives are in discussions with potential partners and the government with a view to launching Google Play services there. There’s been no official comment from Google or update on this — even if Google Play did make a controversial return to China, it remains to be seen how much of an impact such a late arrival would have.
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