A new report has revealed that web giant Google is talking with Chinese authorities and smartphone makers about opening an online shop in China stocked with applications for Android-powered mobile devices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this would mark a return for the US Internet firm, which moved its online search service from Mainland China to Hong Kong in 2010 after a cyberattack targeting Gmail users and a clash over censorship.
At the moment, a number of Google services, such as its free Gmail email, are blocked in China.
Android powers the majority of the smartphones in the world and is available free for device makers in China.
This means opening a Google Play online shop for digital content approved by the Chinese government and pre-installed on smartphones powered by a licensed version of Android would be a remedy for that situation.
Currently, Baidu and other Internet players in China run Android app stores, but don’t share revenue with Google.