Chinese Alternative Android Market GoAPK Funded

In the gap left by a still-unsatisfying official Android Market, is there a third-party opportunity?

GoAPK, an independent, web-based download repository for Android apps in China, thinks so, and has just taken an investment of over $1 million to continue building.

Technode: “There’re lots of 3rd party Android markets in China, including AppChina (invested by Innovation Works), which also crossed an aggregate of over 100 million downloads, HiApk (by game vendor NetDragon), Aimi8, Eoemarket and Mumayi. , none of those markets have generated positive and consistent revenue yet … because the majority of Android apps are offered for free.”

But GoAPK is more than just a download store – as well as listing tens of thousands of apps and a million daily downloads, it has forums counting 3,000 developers.

GoAPK was founded in 2008; the funding comes from online gaming firm Shanda. Datamonitor says Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) has taken a 10 percent stake.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) doesn’t necessarily frown on parallel download repositories. Services like AppBrain operate alongside Android Market and offer better discovery, but ultimately link back to the Market. Meanwhile, Google is happy for third parties like Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and carriers to build their own Android Markets.