In China you can find great devices at a great price, but some don’t have all the software you’d expect in an Android. We explain how to install Google Play on a Chinese smartphone.
If you bought a smartphone in China and when it arrives, it doesn’t have Google Play, don’t worry, you can install the market app and all Google services in a blink of an eye.
Google’s services in China are very limited. So domestic manufacturers dispense with search engine services and offer alternative services that, in addition to being in Chinese, do not operate outside the country’s borders.
Some devices have an international version of the software that does include Google Play. For those who do not have Google Play pre-installed we can get it in two ways:
Install the Google Play Store and Google services manually
First we have to activate the option to install software from unknown sources within the system security settings (depending on the manufacturer of the device the path may vary).
Then we need to download from APK Mirror four fundamental applications for the Google Play Store to work and install them:
- Download Google Account Manager. Download the apk for our version of Android. If it is not available I recommend downloading for a previous version.
- Download the Google Services Framework. Here we must also download the apk with the Android version number of our device, if not available download for a previous version.
- Download Google Play Services. Here besides taking into account the Android version and also the architecture of the processor: arm (32 bits) or arm64 (64 bits). It doesn’t matter if the version is beta or stable the important thing is that it is compatible with your Android processor and version.
- Download the Google Play Store. For this apk we just need it to be the latest version for smartphones (there is also for Android TV and Android Wear).
Once the four applications are installed we will have the Google Play Store icon among our applications.
The first time you launch the application you will be asked to enter your Google Account to start downloading applications.
Install the Google Play Store automatically from a package
Getting Google services installed on a Chinese smartphone is easier with a package that installs everything you need.
It depends a little on the brand of the device but in general it is very similar in all. For this example we are going to install Google Play on a Xiaomi with a Chinese version of MIUI.
Let’s start by looking for the application that will help us install the services we need. All Chinese smartphones usually have a manufacturer’s app store: go to the app and search for “google installer”.
If you can’t find anything, just google and use the Baidu search engine, the blue symbol of an animal’s footprint.
There are several applications depending on the manufacturer. All of them are usually in Chinese and their icon is something similar to the Google Play logo. If you’re not sure you just have to install it and try.
Look for the application that installs Google services
Once the application is installed, open it. Click on what appears to be the start of the application. In my case it’s this blue circle with Chinese symbols in the middle that I suppose says something like “install”.
You may be asked for permissions to carry out the installations and will download several APKs to be installed such as the calendar, contact manager, Google services and Google Play.
Once everything is installed, all you have to do is sign up with your Gmail account to access Google Play.
Problems with the installation of the automatic package
If the installation of some of the packages or of some APK is interrupted, we must try to install it again.
To do this, go to the default file explorer and search for the APK file that was not installed correctly. Tap on the file and grant it permission to install.
Once installed, reopen the application that installs Google services to continue the process.
Check that Google Play services are installed correctly
To quickly see if Google Play services are working well, the best option is the Play Services Info application.
If when checking the status something does not go well the application itself will give you solutions with download links of the applications you need.