An Array of Apps for A Mobile Generation

Browsing for the latest and funniest mobile applications has become a passion for Li Xiang, 24, an editor at an English-language newspaper in Shanghai.

The first thing he does in the morning after he opens his eyes is to flick on his iPhone4.

"I always check out app review websites," he said. "When I find something interesting, I download an app to my phone."

Li has 50 new apps on his phone. He downloads them once or twice a week, two to three at a time. His favorites are news, games and communications.

The mobile Internet has become a daily necessity for millions of young people like Li.

According to the latest research by mobile app marketing firm Flurry last month, China ranks second in the world mobile application market after the United States.

Flurry calls China "the new mobile app dragon" because it's the fastest-growing app market in the world.

The firm predicts China could overtake the US by the end of 2013 if both countries stay on their current growth tracks.

Instant messaging

Yan Xiaojia, an analyst with Analysys International, said 560 million people in China were using social networking apps on their mobile phone in the third quarter, including instant messaging, such as QQ, Facebook copycats such as Kaixin and Renren, and Chinese microblog Weibo.

It's not uncommon for users to employ more than one social networking app at the same time.

Despite the huge popularity of social networking apps in China, which account for the majority of downloads at the Apple store, future mobile apps will not be confined only to communications, Yan said.

"Instead of an open communication environment like Weibo, the grouping of mobile apps in the future will be more precise, such as apps that focus on white-collar workers or university students," he said.

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