(Yicai Global) Feb. 7 -- Chinese online portal, NetEase, has reportedly contacted Google, and the two sides may set up a joint venture to launch the Google Play app download service in mainland China, Sina Technology reported citing foreign media.
Chinese users can only access Google Play through certain channels and are unable to make payments within the store. This means they cannot purchase apps or content.
Discussions about bringing Google Play to the mainland market have been going on for years. In 2015, rumors circulated that Google would be launching a Chinese version of the Play Store in the following year.
The Chinese government will have the final say on if Google and NetEase can create a joint venture to offer Play services in the mainland.
Android app stores launched by Tencent, Qihoo 360 and other internet companies have secured a dominant position in the Chinese market, after Google's exit from China. Even if Google manages to enhance its visibility among Chinese users with NetEase's assistance, Google Play is still unlikely to make it to the top-three rankings in the mainland, the report noted citing an industry expert's predictions.