Flipboard CEO Mick McCue has revealed that its number of downloads in China will “easily surpass” those in the US in the near future, as its move to create a Chinese operations begins to reap rewards.
The company launched a Chinese service last December, which included a dedicated editorial team before adding iPhone support in March, and McCue says the number of downloads of its app in China have drawn even with its business in the US, IDG News reports.
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The company is targeting 5 million downloads in China by the end of the year and, to aid that growth, McCue revealed that an official Android app will come to the country. The move would be significant as the Google-owned platform represents 68.4 of smartphones sales in China, according to Analysys research.
China “has a huge Android base, so its absolutely obvious for us to accelerate our Android plans” he told IDG. An app emerged this week — initially for Samsung Galaxy SII — and it will also ‘slow launch’ through a series of beta release in China over the coming few months.
China is already the world’s largest smartphone market and McCue lauded the importance of the country for app makers. As well as Flipboard, Instagram is among other Western firms to have added support for Chinese Internet users and, after just one month, the photo sharing service is already seeing signs of success.
“China will soon be the largest market in the world for downloads from mobile devices,” McCue said.
The firm is planning to take its commitment in China to a new level, with a dedicated office in the country, and McCue says it is important for Flipboard’s “DNA” that it is active in China as smartphones become increasingly mainstream.
Apple is believed to have 21 million iPhones and iPads in China but, with sales in its last quarter surpassing $7.9 billion. The company is one of a number of smartphone makers and other mobile firms tipped to see significant growth as China’s appetite for devices increases.