According to WPDang, there are some fundamental service changes about to happen to the Windows Phone platform in China. First, China might get its own mobile app distribution server, which will make the downloading and installing of apps even smoother for Chinese users. Secondly, Microsoft will transfer the operating of the Marketplace to MSN China.
“But MSN IS Microsoft!!” One might argue. But that’s not the case in China. Due to a series of laws & regulation problems, MSN China is joint-venture between Microsoft and a local partner, each owning 50% of the JV company. It primarily runs the Chinese version of the MSN portal, which can’t be called “successful” by any account, but is doing sort of OK in China so far. By giving MSN China the full control of the Windows Phone Marketplace, Microsoft is hoping to utilize the connections of its Chinese JV partner, and iron out the bumps along the way to implementing Chinese Yuan support in app purchasing.
It’s worth a mention that Chinese Windows Phone users currently has to pay for apps in US dollar instead of China’s local currency, the Yuan. This has caused people quite some inconvenience because the only way to pay a bill in US dollar in China is through credit cards, and of course not everyone has one of those. To achieve billing in Yuan, Microsoft has to pull many strings and establish partnership with banks and some government organs. Things will get a lot easier with a local JV partner involved.
Apparently Microsoft has been planning this move all alone. As early as April this year, MSN China were posting hiring adverts on the web, trying to hire a “mobile phone app market manager” and a “wireless service channel manager”. You don’t think they were still hiring for Windows Mobile 6.5, do you?
Now according to WPDang, MSN China will step up front and take full control over Marketplace after the release of Windows Phone 8. It looks like Redmond is trying to tie up a lot of residual loose ends with the upcoming new OS.