China's Most Popular Mobile Apps of 2017 Revealed!


Latest data shows that there are 772 million Internet users in China. 753 million of them use mobile devices to access to Internet, making the mobile internet user penetration rate 97.5% - the highest ever.

Today we will cover the most popular mobile apps in China through 2017. Plus, we will share the hot trends of Chinese mobile users.


Tencent Makes the Most Downloaded Apps
According to App Annie, WeChat, QQ and Tencent Videos are top 3 most downloaded mobile apps in 2017, following by Taobao, Alipay and Baidu; Honour of King (王者荣耀), Landlord Poker (欢乐斗地主) and Knives Out (荒野行动) are the front runners of most downloaded mobile games.


With 902 million daily users, WeChat is still the No.1 mobile app in China. Meanwhile, it is not hard to tell that BAT (Baidu, Alibaba & Tencent) are China's three leading internet players and they are still dominating user engagement on mobile.

Toutiao is The New Force

Toutiao is a personalized news app that taps the reader's preferences and an AI algorithm to aggregate stories from various sources. With 120 million daily active users (DAUs) who reportedly spend an average of 76 minutes per day on the platform, Toutiao has become the most popular news app in China. Keep in mind that Toutiao is one of the few internet operations to succeed without the backing of BAT.

Toutiao is the most popular news app in China now

Besides, Toutiao’s parent company ByteDance also operates short video apps like Douyin, Xigua Video and selfie app FaceU. These apps are all UGC (user generated content) platforms and they all are popular among young mobile users in China.



It’s always hard to compete against super apps like WeChat and Weibo, however Toutiao has found a way to win over certain type of users in vertical ways, with the push of technology.

Chinese Mobile Users Spent More Money
Chinese mobile users spent the most money in app stores around the world and it keeps growing: in 2017, the app store total spent from Chinese consumers reached $33 Million, 270% more than it was in 2015. 38% mobile app spent in 2017 are contributed by Chinese mobile users.

Where do Chinese mobile users spend the money? Mobile game Honour of King (王者荣耀) is absolutely the No.1 in the game category, while more Chinese mobile users start to spend money on online video, digital music and live streaming apps. According to App Annie’s “Mobile Apps with the Most In-app Purchases in 2017”, online video apps Tencent Video and iQiyi are top two on the list, with popular short video app Kuaishou ranking at the third. 


Honour of King

Behind the huge in-app purchase, mobile payments like Alipay and WeChat Pay are the unsung heroes. According to CNNIC, 65.5% of Chinese Internet users used mobile payment in 2017, 15.2% more than a year ago.


…And More Time
Comparing to mobile users from the rest of the world, Chinese mobile users’ time spent is insane: in Q4 2017, Chinese mobile users’ total time spent on mobile apps is roughly 225 billion hours. It is four times of India, who ranked the 2nd on the list.



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