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China’s Top 10 Smartphone Apps for Android and iOS

C. Custer
C. Custer
10:00 am on May 6, 2013

Chinese research firm iResearch recently released its breakdown of China’s mobile market in January of 2013, and that report includes, among other interesting things, lists of the top mobile apps in China on both Android and iOS. The report hasn’t been published publicly yet as far as I can tell — you should be able to find it here once it does go up — so let’s just jump right into the top ten lists, shall we? (These lists are ordered by the total number of installs, not actual app usage).


China’s Top 10 iOS Apps

  1. QQ
  2. WeChat
  3. Sina Weibo
  4. Taobao
  5. UC Mobile Browser
  6. Alipay
  7. QQ Spaces
  8. QQ Mobile Browser
  9. QQ Mobile Music
  10. Kingsoft Battery Doctor

China’s Top 10 Android Apps

  1. QQ
  2. UC Mobile Browser
  3. WeChat
  4. 360 Mobile Guardian
  5. Sina Weibo
  6. Taobao
  7. Alipay
  8. QQ Mobile Browser
  9. 360 Mobile Helper
  10. QQ Spaces

The biggest difference between the two lists is the rather conspicuous absence of Qihoo products from the iOS list. In fact, Qihoo has four products on the Android top 20 list, but not a single Qihoo product made the top 40 on iResearch’s iOS list. Apple has a history of not being particularly fond of Qihoo’s apps, and it banned them from its App Store back in early 2012. That time, they were quickly reinstated, but they were banned again in late January of this year and are apparently under special investigation and still haven’t been re-approved months later.

It’s also worth pointing out that not a single foreign-developed app is featured on either list.

Of course, a more interesting way to measure app popularity is to monitor apps’ time usage; luckily, iResearch has a list for that too (combining both Android and iOS):

Looking at all these lists, if you had to pick a winner the pretty obvious one is Tencent, given that its products (QQ IM, QQ Browser, WeChat, etc) hold the top spot — and a bunch of other spots to boot — on every list. But since most of the apps listed offer free services, we might well call Alibaba another winner, given that its Taobao and Alipay apps exist almost exclusively to help users spend money and yet still made the top ten.

(All data via iResearch)

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Have Your Say
  • ich

    What is qq it is facebook chinese version.
    What is alipay it is allpay chinese version.

    Yeah . There is no surprise and no foreign app in the top list .

  • Andy

    WeChat is definitely included in my Top 5 Smartphone Messaging Apps for Free. I love the idea of being able to send messages free of charge and I like those cute chat icons too.

  • http://www.openwavecomp.com.my/ harrietlucia

    I think social networking more popular in china .. all apps seems like relate to social networking ..
    QQ playing best in the absence of google in china i am sure.. right ?

  • dinehs