October 28, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
When the Android Market goes down in most places, people freak out for a couple of hours and then go back to their business until the next failure happens weeks or months later. In China, Market failures are more frequent and annoying since its outages last for days, not hours.
Chinese gaming company The9 is launching its own Android app distribution channel, powered by OpenFeint, in order to combat the “common disruption” caused by Market failures. Partnering with three Chinese carriers, The9 will set-up a Game Zone that enables smartphone users in China to have continued access to games during outages.
“Official Android shutdowns are a recurring issue for mobile users and developers,” said Chris Shen, GM of The9 Mobile Business Unit, in a statement released today. “However, our partnership with Chinese application distributions reaches over 30 major channels including telecom carriers, mobile device manufacturers and third-party channels.”
The9 basically serves as a publishing house for developers looking to reach Chinese users. The company has a fund that helps translate games built by American and European developers, then provides an easy way to publish an app once and have it appear in 30 different app stores. Yes, 30. (And you thought managing Amazon and Google downloads was tough?)
Chinese gamers already use the many app store alternatives and do not rely exclusively on the Android Market. I’m sure most of the 100 million smartphone users in China would love to have that luxury, but The9 thinks it can set-up the partnerships to make that not be an issue. Developers interested in learning more about The Game Zone can click here.