While the rest of the world gets to enjoy the fruits of Google’s services thanks to the Play Store and other features, those in China are locked out of the fun. This is despite the fact that more than 78% of devices in China are running Android (according to a July 2017 report).
However, some changes found in the Google Play Developer Console may have tipped Google’s hand as things are looking to change. Initially found on Reddit, and then verified by Phandroid’s-own Mr. Steve Albright, the Play Console now shows China as a listed option under the “Pricing & Distribution” tab.
This was even further verified by the following screenshot, which shows that the Google Play Store is no-longer blocked by China’s firewall. The Play Store website shows as available to be accessed by several different regions across China.
This is huge, considering the fact that China has not been privy to the Play Store ever since Google pulled its services from the country almost 10 years ago. Since then, there have been varying reports that Google had plans to re-enter China, but none of those rumors have come to fruition.
Regardless, considering that 80% of China’s population is taking advantage of Android already, we could see a true explosion of services if Google actually makes this change. It’s unlikely that Google would wait until its rumored October launch date for the Pixel 2 to make this announcement. So we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground as this story develops.
Be sure to give us a heads up if you see any major changes, and let us know what you think about the changes to the Play Store Console.