China Mobile seeks 50% of app store sales

China Mobile is seeking a 50% cut of all sales from its soon-to-launch Mobile Market app store.

“China Mobile wants at least 50% of the revenues and the rest goes to the developer,” a source from Shanghai Mobile, a China Mobile subsidiary, told

By contrast, Apple, Android and Microsoft all take just a 30% cut.

The Mobile Market is now being developed by the China Mobile-controlled Aspire Technologies and China Mobile’s Guangdong branch, the source said.

It is likely to go live in September, almost certainly making it the world’s first carrier-operated storefront. UK-based Vodafone has planned to open a store by year-end.

The Mobile Market will allow developers to post apps for all handset OS except the iPhone. It will be accessible from both GSM and TD-SCDMA phones.

Baoding-based Zhu Lianxing, who leads a team named “139.ME” to develop iPhone apps, said the group would submit two Window Mobile apps – one that provides driver’s license practice tests and the Love Forecast, a personal ovulation calendar.

Zhu said the biggest challenge for China Mobile would be to provide a consistent user experience across different phone models and OSes.

“If we develop an app for Apple, it runs on both the iPhone and the iPod touch. Now we have to develop one app for each OS,” he said.