Update: Google has contacted Ubergizmo to confirm that the rumor below was not accurate, and was probably due to some confusion around the Google Play console. We kept the original piece for reference below:
Google pulled its services from China almost a decade ago. The Google Play Store has not been available in the People’s Republic because of that but it may soon be launched in the country. Enough evidence has surfaced online to suggest that the Google Play Store China launch is imminent. This is going to be a big deal when you consider the fact that recent reports have shown that nearly 80 percent of the mobile devices in China are powered by Android.
Some changes have been spotted in the Google Play Developer Console which suggest that the Google Play Store China launch might happen in the near future. China is now listed as an opion in the “Pricing & Distribution” tab which means that developers will soon be able to offer their apps in the world’s most lucrative smartphone market.
It’s pertinent to mention here that China’s firewall is no longer blocking the Google Play Store. It can actually be accessed from different regions across the country. While it remains to be seen if the full suite of Google’s services ever makes it back to China, it’s a big possibility now that its app store will soon be opened up for the plethora of Android users in China.
It’s unclear right now when Google is going to formally announce this. It’s expected to conduct an event in October for the Pixel 2 handsets, perhaps it will talk more about this then, or perhaps it may not wait that long and announce the Google Play Store China launch before the rumored event. It’s anybody’s guess right now.