Over the weekend, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) unveiled an online store for Chinese users offering apps for devices running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS.
The Internet retail giant, which launched a Kindle digital book store in China late last year, becomes the first U.S. company to offer a download platform for paid Android apps in China. Google currently only allows Chinese users to download free Android apps, Reuters notes.
Android apps — both free and paid — are available from a multitude of websites in China, but those websites are plagued with security concerns, including computer viruses.
Amazon is trying to bolster its e-commerce business in China. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the company accounted for less than 3% of China’s $27 billion consumer online sales.
The sale of digital products — apps, music and video downloads — is an increasingly important part of Amazon’s business model and its ability to compete with other online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Shares of Amazon fell more than 1% in Monday morning trading.