Strategies and tactics for entering the mobile fray in China – with InMobi’s Piyush Shah

Episode #460

It was only a matter of time before China became the world’s largest mobile market. Now it can’t be ignored. This year it surpassed the United States for iOS and Android activations and will soon hit over 500 million smartphones according to InMobi. The numbers are staggering and as a mobile entrepreneur or business looking to bring new revenue in through mobile, China needs to be on your (very) short list of places to be.

The challenges are many but the barriers have been dropping at an incredible rate – think back to a short 10 years ago and what it would have taken to enter into this market. Now, the app stores have paved the way for local distribution and payment and the population is the most connected on the planet. An eager market of hundreds of millions waiting for your product or service.

Piyush Shah knows something about this opportunity – he is the VP & GM, Developer Platform and Performance Advertising for InMobi, a quickly-emerging global company focused on mobile-first customer engagement platforms. The data they collect and analyze form the basis for the reports and insights they provide to the community.

Piyush is based in Bangalore, India and we connected to talk about the China opportunity and what developers and businesses need to do to succeed in this huge, fertile and truly mobile-first country.



Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. Introducing Piyush Shah from InMobi 2:20
2. What is the opportunity in China 6:45
3. Why is it so important for mobile-first companies to be in China? 10:00
4. Why is freemium a catalyst for success in the Chinese mobile market? 14:00
5. What about piracy in China? How is this being combatted? 17:28
6. Is China more advanced when it comes to mobile payments? 18:30
7. What are the key strategies for getting into the market? 20:50
8. What size of company is ideal for entering China 25:00
9. How do companies find out what will work in the Chinese market? 26:40
10. How do companies get in touch with the main app stores in China? 30:00
11. What are the pitfalls that companies should be aware of before entering the Chinese market? 32:00
12. What will happen to the app store ecosystem in China? What’s the impact of Amazon being there? 35:00
13. What apps or services are working in the Chinese market? Where are the opportunities? 37:45
14. What are the perils of NOT acting fast enough in the Chinese market? 42:50
15. What stage is the mobile app economy in? When does it settle as it seems to be in the US right now? 45:30


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About Piyush Shah
Piyush Shah InMobiPiyush Shah joined InMobi in October 2009 and serves as Vice President and General Manager for Performance Advertising and Developer Platforms. He is responsible for the overall vision, strategy and execution for InMobi’s global performance advertising business – helping customers to acquire quality users through app installs and lead generation offerings. Piyush also heads InMobi’s Developer Platform initiatives and drives the roadmap to enable global app developers to effectively acquire, monetize and retain users.

He brings to InMobi over 13 years of experience in entrepreneurship, strategy, business development, product management and operations. Prior to joining InMobi, Piyush had corporate stints as the Associate Vice President with Deutsche Bank and Product Manager at Citigroup. At Deutsche Bank, he was part of the core team that established their Payments & Private Banking business in India. He also founded LearningSpiral, an educational portal and youth marketing venture, and was awarded the accolade as one of India’s Innovative Youth Entrepreneurs by Business World.

Piyush is based in our Bangalore office. He graduated from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad with an MBA in Strategy and Marketing and was elected President of the Mumbai Alumni Chapter. He received his Bachelors in Engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering.

Follow Piyush on twitter @shahbuckler

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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