Amazon has launched its first paid-for Android apps in China, beating Google, which has offered only free apps.
This move forms part of Amazon’s strategy to delve deep into the Chinese mobile phone market where it had controlled less than three percent of the e-commerce market till last year.
The initiative could also pave the way for the launch of Amazon’s Kindle devices in China.
China already has a huge market of home grown software and apps that are often malicious and contain pirated versions. Like many other regions, the Chinese market is also acquainted with counterfeit electronic products, and hence, would be familiar with Amazon products.
The Amazon store, which launched over the weekend, promises “quality and safety testing”.
As well as curating existing apps, Amazon said it will work with local developers to create programs specifically for local users.
Compared to its dominant position in other countries such as the US and UK, Amazon controlled less than 3% of China’s massive 169bn yuan (£17.6bn) business-to-consumer e-commerce market in the fourth quarter last year.
Rival Apple already has a significant presence in the country, with more than 17,000 outlets selling its products.
The company says it has eight stores in mainland China, with another three in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong.