Mobile internet companies from China are ramping up their efforts to expand globally, as they attempt to gain new momentum in overseas markets, according to a report released by mobile research institution Cheetah Global Lab.[Special Coverage]
According to the report, it is an opportune time for Chinese mobile internet firms to expand their presence in overseas markets due to the support they can gain from the government's Belt and Road Initiative, rising popularity of smartphones globally, and the demographic dividends in Brazil, India and Southeast Asia.
In 2016, Chinese application developers accelerated their pace of overseas expansion and played key roles in developing countries like Indonesia, Argentina and Mexico, even as they consolidated their presence in regions such as the United States, Germany and Canada.
The report noted that since mobile internet markets are relatively mature in Europe and North America, they are becoming the first choice for Chinese tool and photography app developers. That said, Chinese developers are also speeding up their pace in emerging markets like India and Indonesia, it said.
Between Oct 17 to Oct 23 in 2016, 119 Chinese apps were in the top 1,000 apps list in overseas markets, up by around 30 compared to the number at the beginning of 2016. There were five more categories of apps that entered the top 1,000 list compared to the period of early 2016, including news and magazines, shopping, entertainment, health and fitness and books and dictionaries.
Of the total number of apps in the overseas markets, tool apps and photography apps accounted for the largest proportion, as the two types of apps are able to transcend cultural barriers and do not need that much of local operations.
Cheetah Global Lab said apps that were previously deemed as unfit to go global are also now making an impact in the overseas markets.
Shanghai-based video-sharing platform Muscial.ly has made huge success globally. Attracting 6 million users in North America, it has become the most downloaded video-sharing app in the U.S. via App Store, according to the data from U.S.-based mobile analytics company App Annie.
Another report released in March by App Annie showed that 11 China-headquartered companies were on App Annie's Top 52 App Publishers for 2016 list, including tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, NetEase Inc and Baidu Inc .
Dai Bin, App Annie's regional director for China said that, innovation in the mobile internet sector would be led by China and the same would percolate to other parts of the globe.
"With China's mobile market poised for further growth, we will see more Chinese app publishers appearing on the top publishers list than before," said Dai.