How This Country is Leading the Global Mobile App Market

It accounted for nearly 40 per cent of total consumer spend in 2018

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The global mobile application market is thriving, thanks to the rise of Internet usage and smartphones. There are millions of apps on offer today. People are spending maximum time on mobile apps to explore events nearby, gather news and get every day alerts. But when you talk about the time spend on apps, there is one clear winner: China.


According to "The State of Mobile 2019" report by mobile research firm App Annie, China accounted for nearly 40 per cent of total consumer spend in 2018. In addition, the consumer spending across worldwide app stores was $101 billion in 2018.

China Tops App Downloads

Not only in mobile app spending but the country was also leading the game in different segments. The report outlined how last year the country saw a growth in terms of app downloads.

“China accounted for nearly 50 percent of total downloads in 2018 across iOS and third-party Android, despite a slowdown from the game license freeze in China. Emerging markets continued to fuel growth in 2018 and represent three of the top five markets for app downloads. Mature markets like the US continue to see large, consistent numbers of new downloads annually, but growth has slowed. However, growth in these mature markets is strongest when it comes to indicators of user engagement — sessions and time spent — and consumer spend,” the report states.

App Spend Poised to Grow

The report also maps out an optimistic future for the consumer spending on apps market.

“In 2019, worldwide app store consumer spend will grow five times as fast as the overall global economy. Games will fuel the bulk of consumer spend growth in the app stores, as mobile gaming will continue to be the fastest growing form of gaming. China will remain the largest contributor to consumer spend growth in the app stores; however, we expect to see a slight deceleration in the aftermath of the game licensing freeze in China,” the report says.

China has been described as the Games Industry Capital of the World, with its market size exceeding the US in mid-2017, and some of the world's largest video game companies. Amid tight control, video games in China are subject to the policies of censorship in China.

 In December, the Chinese government formed the "Online Game Ethics Committee" which reviews all games to be published in China for appropriate content as well as issues relayed to childhood myopia. Going forward, the Committee had restarted the approval process and works through a backlog of submissions to review in an expedited manner to allow new games to be released.

The report also highlights that despite China’s freeze on game approvals, global consumer spend in games from China-headquartered publishers increased in 2018, albeit at a slightly lower year-over-year growth rate.

“Although approvals for new game titles will gradually resume in early 2019, Chinese firms will continue to push harder for international expansion, and mergers and acquisitions could become more common,” it adds.