According to a new report in The Information, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is poised to return to China with a new version of its Android smartphone app store as well as Android Wear software for wearable devices there. The move would represent a major step for Google, which has been absent from the Chinese market -- the world's largest smartphone market -- since 2010.
Citing unnamed sources, The Information reported that Google hopes to get Chinese government approval to distribute a custom Chinese version of its Google Play mobile app store for Android smartphones in the country. The publication also reported Google would offer a version of its Android Wear platform there too.
Google exited the Chinese market in 2010 over security concerns. Since then, Google's Android has grown into a major operating system in China -- but largely without carrying Google's services like searching and mapping. Last year research firm CCS Insight predicted that by this year fully 30 percent of Android phones globally wouldn't access Google services, and would instead access services by Chinese search, mapping and email vendors.
The situation has impacted Google's ability to derive advertising revenues from the country. Article