As of today the government in China have ordered all app stores to register with the internet authority. Android is by far the biggest mobile OS in the country but unlike Android phones in the west which can download apps from Googles Play store this option is not available for Chinese phones as Google pulled out of the Chinese market in 2010 because of the heavy restrictions imposed. This means that Chinese phone owners have to download their apps from other app stores such those run by companies like Tencent, baidu and Huawei. These are well known providers but some Chinese mobile phone users download from less reputable places and this has resulted in over 1 million phones in China infected with malware.
The Chinese internet authority have been quoted as saying. This would promote the healthy and orderly development of the mobile internet. But critics have doubts whether this is the real reason behind the move and it is infact more to do with the government being able to control what apps the Chinese people can access in the fear that some apps are able to get around Chinas great firewall and view information from media outlets outside of their control. This is especially prudent after Apple was forced to remove the New York Times news app from its Chinese app store after a demand from the Beijing government.
Whether the registering of the apps stores will reduce the number of malware infections remains to be seen as the announcement doesn’t make it clear. But it could make the situation worse as people start to side load apps they find on the internet or share amongst friends.