Google’s Attempt to Re-enter China through Mobile Apps

Over the past months, Google has been spotted making extensive efforts around the China re-entry. This time, it released an app called “文件极客” which translates into “Files Geek” into the Chinese market on the morning of May 31.

The official English name of the Android files management app is “File Go” and is nothing new to the rest of the world since it debuted in the global market last year. Yet the newly-launched localized equivalent still holds its charm to China’s Google fans.

File Go app in Google Play Store
File Go app in Google Play Store

The handy app has a slim size of only 8.4 MB and allows users to free up space on their smart phones, navigates through files faster and share them easily offline with others. It could suggest files to erase even before you run out space and is connected to Google Drive. The company claimed that the new app could help its users save on average 1 GB of space in the first month of uses.

Files Go is available in four local third-party app stores in China through its partnership with the Internet giants Tencent and Baidu, plus the smartphone makers Xiaomi and Huawei.

Files Go is not the first attempt Google made to impress the world’s largest smartphone market. Not long ago before the launch of the Files Go app, Google released ARCore technology, a platform for building augmented reality experiences available in China only through an app made in partnership with the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. It claims that more local partners will soon be brought in.

In December last year, Google opened an artificial intelligence center in China, tapping the county’s booming AI industry while snapping out Chinese’s AI top researchers. In March 2017, Google reintroduced the Google Translate app in China by launching a separate mobile app to allow Chinese users to access the frequently-used service on the go, while the search engine and other Google products (app store, Gmail, Youtube) are still banned in the market. The app is maintained and run by the tech giant’s joint-venture in China, and is reported to subject to any requests or censorship the government deploys.

“We’re hoping to make the translate experience better for Chinese users, helping break down language barriers by connecting people around the world,” said Google in its product update statement. Earlier this year, Google announced a patent licensing deal with Tencent covering a broad range of products to pave the way for collaboration in the technology space in the future.

Files Go is part of Next Billion, an initiative launched by Google targeting developing countries like India and Indonesia, where budget Android phones are widely adopted.