Amazon over the weekend quietly launched its Android Appstore in China, beating Google Play to the punch.
Amazon's store offers free and paid apps, while Google Play only currently stocks free apps for Chinese users, Reuters reported on Monday. The move makes Amazon the first Western company to offer paid Android apps in China.
Amazon certainly won't be the only app seller in town, however. There are hundreds of local providers that already offer paid and free apps in China, though some of them are pirated.
Amazon China spokesman Billy Huang told Reuters that the company is working with software developers to increase the number of apps offered to Chinese users. He declined to comment on when Amazon would release its Kindle e-reader and tablet devices in the country.
The move comes after Amazon in December opened its Kindle ebook store in China, offering digital books for use on its mobile Kindle app for iOS and Android devices.
Amazon also last month announced a major global expansion of its Appstore for Android, though it did not mention China at the time. The web giant requested that developers begin submitting their applications for distribution in nearly 200 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Vatican City. The Appstore for Android will be launching in those countries over the coming months.
Amazon's Appstore for Android is also currently available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. In addition, Amazon in November opened its Appstore in Japan, representing the store's first push into Asia.