Lenovo exec says Android's Google Play Services coming to China this year

The head of Lenovo's mobile business reportedly said that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is planning to bring its Android Play Services to China at some point this year.

Android has long been the dominant mobile OS in the world's largest smartphone market; it claimed 82.2 percent of all Chinese smartphone users in the second quarter of 2015, according to estimates from Gartner. But Google's security concerns and run-ins with the Chinese government resulted in Google leaving China in 2010.

Meanwhile, upstart Chinese manufacturers such as Xaomi have enjoyed success selling phones that run forked versions of Android, replacing services such as Google Search and Maps with their own offerings.

The Information reported several months ago that Google was preparing return to the Chinese market with a new version of its Android app store as well as Android Wear software for wearables. The company has reportedly been working with the Chinese government to gain approval to re-enter the market, according to the piece, and to distribute its mobile wares there once again.

Google would still need the support of a handset manufacturer with a major presence in China to rebuild its mobile business there in any substantial way -- and Huawei may well be that partner. The No. 1 smartphone vendor in China, Huawei used CES in Las Vegas last week to introduce a new version of its Nexus 6P, which is available in the U.S. through Google's Play store.

For more:
- see this 9to5Google report

Related articles:
Report: Google to return to China with Android app store, Android Wear software
Gartner: Apple shows strength in China, but overall smartphone growth weakened in Q2
Analyst: Nexus smartphones reveal direction of Google's Android development

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