Chinese app creators seen as vital for Apple's booming store
Apple CEO Tim Cook (right) does a fist bump with a man during Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, the United States, on June 6, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]
Chinese app developers are emerging as one of the most innovative communities in the world, playing an important part in helping US tech giant Apple Inc build a thriving app store, industry experts and analysts said.
There are now more than 5 million third-party developers in Apple's iOS app ecosystem in China, up from 4.4 million a year ago, and they are continuously creating new businesses and innovating, the US company said.
The sheer size of the developer community highlights the importance of China to Apple, as the country is not only a big market and a manufacturing powerhouse for its consumer electronics, but also a major source of innovation for the company based in Cupertino, California, the experts added.
Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that China's gigantic domestic market, an ecosystem that thrives around such a big market and efficient supply chains are of great appeal to tech giants such as Apple.
The combination of advantages is something that countries such as India and Vietnam do not have, Bai added. Boasting an increasing number of well-educated and creative young people, China has also become a source of innovation for Apple, he said.
Bai said Chinese consumers have strong demand for using mobile apps, and local developers excel in developing apps for global consumers.
A report from market research company Analysis Group showed that Chinese small businesses and app creators are also finding more success than ever using Apple's iOS App Store. In 2021, 23 percent of new app creators joining the App Store were from China.
In the App Store, earnings of smaller Chinese developers who have been active since 2019 have increased by 94 percent over the past two years.
Chinese student developers are also shining on the global stage. Han Chubo, a student from Beijing Jiaotong University, developed an app called Genetics Lab by using Apple's easy-to-operate tools.
Han has won the Swift Student Challenge, a global coding competition for students that is part of Apple's 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference, which opened on Monday. "I love programming, and I want to develop apps that people really like," said Han.
Wang Peng, an associate professor at the Hillhouse Research Institute at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said Chinese developers have played a bigger role in global mobile app innovation, thanks to the rapid development of the digital economy.
"China has the most active digital investment and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world. The increasingly mature environment gives developers greater vitality," Wang said.
Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University's International Business School, said the number of Chinese developers is rising each year, as Apple is offering a better environment for them to create. This is a win-win result, Pan added.