LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

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China as a Galapagos of Innovation?

China is a mobile powerhouse. Chinese made Smartphones are spreading fast across Asia and Africa. Yet, where are Chinese developed apps?

“The Chinese Internet market is so set apart from other countries that we inside the industry refer to it as the Galápagos Island syndrome,” said Kai Lukoff, the editor of TechRice, a China-focused technology blog based in Beijing. “Domestic Internet products are extremely well adapted to the Chinese market, but they are way out of place for global users.”

But industry experts now argue that app retailers like the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play empower developers anywhere to reach consumers everywhere. The openness of these distribution platforms could provide WeChat with a conduit into the international smartphone market, some analysts say



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