Comments on: PalmGear Expands Into China

PalmGear has announced their expansion into China with a new Chinese language software store and offices in Shanghai and Beijing. PalmGear’s expansion will bring software, eBooks and content to consumers and enterprise customers throughout mainland China.
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RhinoSteve @ 12/16/2003 2:12:43 PM #
Be interesting to see how this is received and how receptive this market is to purchasing software over the net as compaired to the American market.

FYI, first post woohoo!

Bad idea

mclove @ 12/16/2003 2:42:07 PM #
This will never work. First off, it's hard enough to keep software in China from getting pirated when it comes out on CD, and with tiny, easy-to-download Palm software it's almost impossible. I speak to a lot of Chinese PDA users, and most of them have never actually purchased a single piece of PDA software (and not for lack of awareness).

Secondly, most Chinese don't even have credit cards, the ones who do don't use them as often as Westerners do (as China is still for the most part a cash-based society), and as far as I know nobody's ever even successfully launched a pay-per-download service in China before. I somehow doubt that PalmGear will be able to make the breakthrough.

The way to sell software in China is through an OEM deal or deeply discounted in a bookstore, and until the software market there undergoes some major changes it's doubtful that PalmGear China will encounter much success. At the very least, as a developer of Chinese-language software I can say for my part that I have no interest whatsoever in selling through them.

RE: Bad idea
mclove @ 12/16/2003 2:57:15 PM #
I might add for fairness' sake that I lost quite a bit of money in the infamous Missing Payment Incident, that I've recently removed my software from PalmGear in protest of yet another rate increase, and that PalmSource's alliance with them is one of the main reasons I've chosen to try to port my software to Pocket PC. So while I do legitimately think that this venture will fail, I also would be very happy if it did.

RE: Bad idea
mclove @ 12/16/2003 3:18:41 PM #
And yet another fairness thing, while the "Buy" buttons on the website don't appear to be working right now it appears from the interview with Ryan that they do actually support bank cards, so while they still have to get over the pay-per-download barrier they don't have to worry about only being able to sell to credit card users.

I still think this will fail miserably, though.

RE: Bad idea
just_little_me @ 12/16/2003 4:25:23 PM #
"whoa is me, moan, moan, moan..." bah! go play with your PPC then...

i have many friends who are of chinese descent - and who quite happily pay for software. i think your remarks are quite inaccurate - maybe because they are tainted with venom.

afaic palmgear rocks - i get nice big fat checks every month - if i had no other income i'd still be comfortable. i also wasn't silly enough to allow myself to get shafted way back when. stand up for yourself for chrisakes... you don't need to be a big company (which i'm certainly not!) to do that - you just need some kahones...


RE: Bad idea
akhenaten @ 12/17/2003 7:56:16 AM #

When you say chinese descent, you mean ABC's? Canadian Chinese? BBC's? Hongkies? Different from those in China.

I come from Asia where software piracy is RAMPANT! On an average, a starting executive from my country earns about US$500 when converted. I doubt the average Chinese earns this much. And if you think about it further, one freaking Palm software costs about $20.00 on average. And that's like 4% of my salary. And most probably, for that amount I can have a nice meal for me and my wife in China.

I honestly don't think this will work. I come from a world of software pirates. Do you know that I can get the Windows XP for about US$3. The authorities ain't doin nothing about it. Yeah, sure, one day they'll have raids and all. Then the next week, they come back. Oh by the way, pirates are already distributing the Longhorn, God knows where they get it from.

A software pirate would most probably compile 100 of the top selling software from PalmGear into one CD and sell it for 3 bucks to happy people like me. Cracked and usable. No problem.

Why should I even bother to buy on line?

On another note, I've actually TRIED to sell my app in retail at half the American price I was chargin'. Not much takers I'm afraid, coz the next-door software pirates shop, sell mine and like 100 others in one CD for half of what I'm sellin'. So I give up!

When software is concerned. I'd turn to the Western world.

BTW, these software pirates, are run by like Gangsters (sort of Asian mafia's). They bribe the authorities so that their 'distributors' don't get disturbed by 'em police. Police are dirty. Gangsters are happy. Piracy is a multi-billion industry, in terms of gains and losses. So it ain't a joke. Even if developers were to catch the pirates/those who use pirates, the costs too much. Might as well leave 'em in peace.

Still going to China? I never looked that way...

RE: Bad idea
mclove @ 12/17/2003 2:45:55 PM #
I was speaking strictly about citizens of China, and not about ABC's or Asian Americans or any other such category; I would never suggest that race or ethnicity had anything whatsoever to do with one's propensity to pirate software.

And I don't mean to place any sort of blame on anyone except for the pirated software traders - you really can't expect someone making a few hundred dollars a month to shell out even $50 for a copy of Windows, and even the Chinese government is mostly acting in the best interests of its people on this, being just serious enough about piracy to avoid trade sanctions while not attempting to eliminate it completely.

And I'm not switching to Pocket PC, I'm just producing a series of Pocket PC ports because it'll make me more money and because I no longer feel much loyalty to a company that has shown very little of it to me. I don't really like Pocket PC as a platform, but with my diminished loyalty towards Palm the financial incentives are too good to ignore.

And by the way, if you think you're making money on PalmGear, look at how much you're paying them every month and ponder for a moment how much Google, Overture, and other advertising you could buy with that.

RE: Bad idea
akhenaten @ 12/18/2003 7:23:46 AM #
The comment on chinese descent was directed to just_little_me.

Sorry for the confusion.

Hmm... actually, I do feel the pain when selling my software through PG. Do you have any other ideas where I could go, but still be able to sell to the US without leaving my home in Asia or trading my passport?


RE: Bad idea
Wasobi33 @ 12/19/2003 5:36:41 PM #
Well...if they actually make money in china cool, but sense they are communist, and not a very rich country... i wouldnt expect high profit...

Choice is an illusion created between those with power, and those without.


cicifan @ 12/16/2003 8:47:12 PM #
CIC(C) aka CICI.OB is already kicking ash in China and has grown ONLINE sales in China (see their Q3 10Q) to approx $197,000. CIC (Communications Intel Corp)& CICC have been established in China since mid 1990's.


Good luck to all & happy holidays



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