Expanding your app’s reach to China, one of the world’s largest markets, can be a game-changer. However, achieving success in the Chinese app ecosystem requires a solid App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy. This post will guide app owners in the West on how to make their apps perform well in China’s app stores. We’ll focus on keyword optimization, a critical aspect of ASO.

App Store Optimization (ASO): The Power of Keywords

Much like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ASO revolves around keywords. Your goal is to ensure that relevant keywords are intricately associated with your app, so it ranks higher in search results when users query these keywords. App stores employ algorithms to identify and prioritize keywords, but the specifics remain undisclosed. To bridge this gap, our guide compiles insights from various Chinese Android app stores to give you a strategic edge.

Given that Chinese users primarily search with Chinese characters, it’s essential to translate your English keywords into Chinese equivalents. The decision to use both languages should align with your app’s goals and target audience.

Identifying Keywords for Your App

  1. User Perspective: Start by thinking like your users. What would they search for when seeking your app?

  2. Search Engine Queries: Conduct searches, preferably in Chinese, on search engines like Baidu. Pay attention to search results and auto-complete suggestions for potential keywords.

  3. Built-in Keywords: Most stores offer a set of keywords extracted from your metadata. Use these as a foundation and expand from there.

  4. Avoid High-Volume Keywords: Targeting very generic, high-traffic keywords may not yield favorable results initially. Prioritize low-traffic keywords and long-tail combinations.

  5. User Reviews: User reviews, including those from competitors, often yield excellent keywords for your app’s description.

  6. Third-Party Tools: Utilize tools like AppAnnie, Semrush, apptweak, and Google Keyword Planner to aid your keyword research and track your competitors.

  7. Cast a Wide Net: Successful apps often rank for 60 to 105 keywords.

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Your ASO strategy should revolve around a list of at least 20 important Chinese and possibly English keywords. Organize this list based on their importance for your app. These keywords will guide the creation of different components in your app store listing.

App Name and Subtitle

The app name carries the most weight and often has character limits. Keep it consistent across stores to enhance brand identity. Ensure it matches the title registered on your Software Copyright Certificate. You can derive keywords from your app name to broaden your coverage.

Download Number

The number of downloads significantly impacts your app’s ranking and ASO. Focus on boosting downloads during the initial three months of your app’s launch. This period offers increased visibility, which can be leveraged through organic ASO optimization and marketing efforts.


Descriptions range from 500 to 1500 characters, varying by store. You can opt for consistency or craft store-specific descriptions. Multilingual descriptions work if your app targets an international audience in China, while Chinese-only descriptions suit apps specific to China.

Keyword Input

Some stores allow manual input of keywords. Take advantage of this feature to enhance keyword recognition.

One-Sentence Description

Include essential keywords in this concise description, adjusting for character limits in different Chinese app stores.

User Reviews

The number and quality of user reviews affect your app’s ranking. Encourage reviews, and aim for reviews containing target keywords. Respond to reviews when possible, and request removal of reviews with valid reasons.

App Category

Select the appropriate category and subcategories when submitting your app. Ensure your app is correctly categorized to improve discoverability.


Expanding your app’s reach to China is a promising endeavor, but it requires a well-thought-out ASO strategy. Prioritize keyword optimization, keeping in mind the nuances of the Chinese app market. Success in China’s app stores is attainable with the right approach. For expert guidance, consider reaching out to 21YunBox’s international team, based in Shanghai, well-versed in the Chinese app and game markets. We’re here to help you navigate this exciting journey. Get in touch with us to kickstart your expansion with confidence.