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Amazon expands its Android Appstore to China

Opening its virtual doors over the weekend, the new app store for China offers both free and paid apps, according to Reuters.

Amazon's new Appstore for China.
Amazon's new Appstore for China. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon is aiming to rival Google in China by launching its own Android app store for Chinese consumers.

Unveiled over the weekend, the Chinese version of the Amazon Appstore provides both free and paid apps, Reuters reported Monday. Google Play stocks only free apps for Chinese users, which makes Amazon the first Western tech company to set up a store for paid Android apps in China.

Amazon may now have a leg up on Google. But the retail giant must also square off against local sites in China, many of which offer paid and free apps. Some of the apps from the local rivals, however, are pirated copies or infected with malware, according to Reuters.

A spokesman for Amazon told Reuters that the company is working with developers to create more apps for the new store.

The app store opening may be yet another signal that Amazon aims to sell Kindle devices in China.

In December, the company opened an online Kindle store offering a variety of Chinese-language books. Last June, four Kindle devices, including the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire, received regulatory approval from the State Radio Regulation of China, according to Reuters. Amazon's former China chief also told Reuters last year that the company hopes to bring the Kindle to China within two years.