More than 300 million Chinese will have Android smartphones by the end of this year, according to China-focused Android app store Wandoujia. That’s a growth rate of 34% since 2012, when the country had 224 million Android users.
While it’s hard to imagine that growth can continue at this pace, picture this: There are around 700 million Chinese with non-Android mobile phones. And 86% of new smartphones sold in China run on Android. (While 73% of new phones sold in China are smartphones.)
Perhaps the most interesting thing about all this growth is what’s conspicuously absent from it: Google. While Android succeeds in China, it’s largely versions of Android uncoupled from Google’s “official” version—all of which is possible because Android is open-source, which means anyone can copy it for free.