Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Eric Schmidt dropped into the GeekPark conference in Beijing earlier today where, in a panel discussion, he reminded the assembled developers that Android is the numero uno mobile OS in China. Schmidt added that iOS is in second place in the smartphone platform battle in China – as in many nations – and he tried to dissuade devs of the notion that it’s harder to monetize on Android than on iOS.
Talking to 1,000 developers and businesspeople in the audience, Eric Schmidt focused on Android in China by highlighting the monetization possibilities for apps, and by explaining that Android will also come to be the OS of choice for more digital home products in the future. He added that Chrome, and Chrome for Android, could become China’s top web browser.
Although Chinese consumers do indeed love Android (and as much as 86 percent of smartphones sold in 2012 Q4 will be Android devices), the monetization issue is still a tricky one for Google in China. Google Play doesn’t support paid apps in China, and most web companies and startups still prioritize building iPhone and iPad apps. The Android landscape in China is further complicated by Chinese consumers generally not liking Google’s wider ecosystem, instead opting out of Google Play, not using Google search or Gmail, and lots of other avoided products.
As for mobile browsers, surely Chrome can never beat the wildly popular UC Browser, with over 400 million global users.
Schmidt was in neighboring North Korea for much of last week on a controversial humanitarian mission which ended with the chairman of Google calling on Kim Jong-Un’s government to embrace the web.
During his stage time today, Schmidt also noted that Google is now guiding Motorola to some new products that will emerge later this year.