Google will launch its Play Store in China next year, reports suggest. But in a form intended to appease the notoriously censorious Chinese authorities.
A revamped, dedicated version of the app that's "not connected to overseas versions of Google Play" is being prepared specially for the Chinese market, according to Reuters.
Citing Google insiders familiar with the situation, the report claims that the search giant "intends to comply with Chinese laws on filtering content that might be viewed as sensitive by the ruling Communist Party" and will abide by "laws requiring the company to store the app store's data within China".
Google's search engine has been blocked in China in the past due to the government's strict censorship policy. However, last November, Google gave the all-clear for developers in China to start publishing apps onto the Play Store, for the store's imminent launch.
This allowed Chinese developers to get their apps in the hands of people in more than 130 countries around the world.
Apple only launched the iPhone in China a couple of years ago, and it's taken off massively.
According to Forbes, China accounted for a whopping 53 per cent of Apple's total revenue in the last fiscal year. It'll open its fifth Apple Store in Beijing on Friday.
It seems Google doesn't want to miss out on the more than a billion people who comprise the Chinese market.