iPS 211: Making Your App China-Friendly

On today's episode of iPhreaks, Gui Rambo, Erica Sadun, Jaim Zuber and special guest – Guanshan Liu talk about Making Your App China-Friendly. Guanshan is on the show today to give some tips on how to prepare your apps to get into the Chinese App Store. Don’t miss this one!

[00:25] – Introduction to Guanshan

Jaim met Guanshan when he was at O-camp. Guanshan was one of the speakers and gave a talk called Make Your Apps China-Friendly. He talked about some of the challenges that people face when trying to get their apps into the Chinese market. Guanshan works at Booking.com and now lives in Shanghai.

[01:15] – Why to get into Chinese App Store

There’s a huge market in China. More Chinese people are going abroad and Chinese users have these smartphones. These smartphones have iOS, but most of them are Android. The people are spending lots of time on their phones every day.

[03:10] – Things to do to get your apps ready for China

First, you need to support Simplified Chinese because not everyone in China can read English.

[03:25] – Simplified Chinese difference

There are two ways of writing Chinese. One is Simplified Chinese, which is used in Mainland China. The other one is called Traditional Chinese. It is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Most of the time, people can relate on both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

[03:50] – Dialects

You can still communicate via Simplified Chinese even though there are many dialects in China. But that also depends on the accuracy of translation because sometimes the same word doesn’t mean the same thing. Chinese is not that easy.

[04:25] – Different versions for different parts of China

Booking uses the same app in China as the rest of the world. They use an iPhone API so they don’t need to create a separate app only for China. That really depends on your project.

[07:00] – Strategies on creating apps for many cultures or languages

You only need some knowledge about the people. The data from companies like Alibaba are different. For example, today, there is an app that when you tried to search, it will not return the result.

[09:40] – Designing for different age groups

Young people, they have different tastes. They use an app a different way. For example, they like to send comments and share what they’re watching. They like to shout-out their opinions to other people. They love these features. They are available on radio content providers in China. The idea is originally from Japan but Chinese people also allow it. As they listen to it, they can talk and share them with their friends.

[12:15] – Most users are not going to use cellular data for your app

Cellular data in China is for sale and very expensive. That is true for many developing countries like Brazil. So you have to think about that if you’re targeting any developing country.

If you want to test your app with connectivity, you can use the Network Link Conditioner. You can turn it on and it will degrade your internet connection like a fake bad connection. You can use that to get an idea of how a person in a really bad connection will use your app. It’s very important for a place like China. But Wi-Fi is fairly ubiquitous in the big cities like Shanghai. In most places, there are also free Wi-Fis.

[15:05] – First steps to be China-Ready

It would be good to find a Chinese user to test your app. Most developers in the States, they’ve always been taught to keep their apps simple. With the Alibaba app, it’s different. It has full of stuff. There are lots of icons everywhere. That’s the norm in China.


Guanshan Liu

Erica Sadun

Gui Rambo