Tech In Asia reports that “every single one” of the Chinese app publishers it surveyed are offering Android apps directly to customers, with the main Google store, Google Play, “generally being subverted and/or ignored.”

According to the publication, numerous local stores have sprung-up to fill the gap, using a mix of “piracy and legitimate alternative app distribution.”

Based on a study of 50 domestic apps, ranging from products from startups to apps offered by established independents and major web companies, all were providing direct access to the .apk installation files.

In only eight cases did the publishers link to the Google Play store, being more likely to link to a local app store alternative.
Smaller startups were least likely to use Google Play.