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User Acquisition in China: Capturing the world's largest mobile gaming audience

Yodo1 explains the audience and channels you should be using

User Acquisition in China: Capturing the world's largest mobile gaming audience

Every mobile app wants to bring in new users; that's why global game publishers - ourselves included - spend millions of dollars a year on UA.

At Yodo1, we have spent years developing local expertise and building a unique toolset for user acquisition in the Chinese market. Today, we're here to help you gain millions of new players, build a larger community around your game, and drive more revenue for your mobile games.

To get you started on UA, we'll cover some basics and discuss the main differences between user acquisition in global and Chinese markets. We'll also show you what our gaming services platform can do for your studio.

User Acquisition Basics

When it comes to numbers, UA boils down to one simple formula: making a user's CPI (cost per install) lower than their LTV (life-time value).

As a successful publisher, Yodo1 has spent many years helping app developers increase LTV with localization, ecosystem optimization, and live-ops for Chinese players.

Our UA team is experienced in working with China's major ad platforms to create innovative localized campaigns that draw in a bigger audience and keep CPI low.

With this basic formula under our belts, we can move on to building your China UA strategy.

An optimal strategy in any part of the world will include social media campaigns, collaboration with influencers, and a killer app store optimization strategy to drive your players from first impression to installation. In this area, China is no different.

But when it comes to creating and distributing your UA ads - of which the most effective format is, of course, video - you won't succeed without a keen understanding of what sets China apart.

How Does User Acquisition in China Differ from Other Countries?

In China, two differences will have the greatest impact on your UA strategy: the audience and the channels.

1. Understanding the Audience: A Different Way of Thinking

While the typical western player might be happy with voiced-over gameplay videos - similar to content created by the YouTubers and influencers they follow - the interest of Chinese players can be a little harder to capture.

What tends to work best in this market are humorous clips of real people playing the game - videos that tell a bit of a story.

This is, in part, because people in China grow up watching different types of TV programs and social media content than those in the West or other parts of the world. Add to that a more competitive market, and foreign developers who want to stand out from the daily flood of ads will need to go the extra mile with their UA videos.

Though it may cost more initially, we've learned from experience that the investment is more than worthwhile.

Our UA team is constantly taking inspiration from China's most popular video platforms to help our partners create ads that will have the most appeal to today's players.

2. Using the Right Channels: Forget Facebook, Google, Twitter

Globally, the biggest paid UA channels include Facebook Ads, Apple Search, Google's UAC, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat. With paid ads on these platforms, plus your social media and influencer marketing efforts, you'll have a pretty comprehensive UA campaign.

This campaign makeup will be similar in the Chinese market, except on a completely different set of channels.
Considering their traffic, Tencent Ads (covering WeChat and QQ) and the platforms under the ByteDance umbrella (ByteDance Ad Network, Douyin, Huoshan, and TouTiao) are the most effective ones.

These are China's biggest by far and, through them, your ads can potentially reach the entire population.

Running your campaign in a fragmented market

The process of acquiring users on these and many other Chinese platforms is unique. Where you may be used to UA ads that link to Google Play or the iOS App Store, doing it the same way in China simply doesn't make sense.

Since Google Play is not an option in China, its Android market is made up of multiple app stores - making UA cumbersome and complex since each requires you to integrate their own SDK for your game to function.

In this fragmented marketplace, the solution Yodo1 offers is an APK included with our single-SDK MAS (Managed Ad Services) platform.

Our build operates on China's biggest ad platforms - ByteDance and Tencent - allowing players who watch your UA ads to download your game without being redirected to a store.

And by utilizing our SDK, with continuous tracking of your UA campaign performance, revenue from the players can go directly to you - bypassing the hefty fee (up to 50% of total revenue) charged by Android app stores.

Your Journey to Success in China

UA is only one aspect of your adventure in China. Monetizing optimally and getting your game effectively distributed on the multitude of Android app stores are key points for your success.

That's where Yodo1 is here to help. Our MAS SDK includes all major local ad networks and billing systems that allow the collection of all Android-store-generated revenue without the long and complex SDK integrations you would otherwise need to comply with each store.

Pioneered over eight years of experience with our own games, the innovative MAS SDK opens China to developers of all shapes and sizes, enabling them to properly distribute, monetize, and acquire users in a market with over 600 million mobile game players.

And last but not least, if you're still in need of a valid ISBN to get your China game registered, what are you waiting for?

Contact us now at

About Yodo1

Yodo1 is a game platform company that helps developers better market, manage, and monetize their games. Our AI-powered tools and global expertise in areas such as mobile advertising, community management, and digital IP licensing enable partners to increase playtime, revenue, and retention. Our vision is to open the world of gaming success to anyone with the talent to develop. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.