Chinese search engine Baidu has unveiled a web-based app store, the Box Computing Open Platform.
The platform will carry games, videos, e-books and other applications, accessible directly through the Baidu site using any web browser, WSJ.com said.
Both free and paid apps will be stocked, with Baidu taking a 30% commission on fees. Alternatively, apps can generate revenue through advertising and user donations.
The app store could fill a niche that has yet to be addressed by app store competitors. Although China Mobile has been running an online store since last year, Apple's App Store does not have a Chinese-language interface, and Google Market is often not integrated into Android phones on sale in the market.
But Chinese consumers often use smaller, independent app stores or electronics retailers to obtain mobile apps, and the prevalence of piracy in the country could serve to limit sales.
But app developers told the Journal that the platform sounds appealing, due to Baidu's reach - the company has a 70% share of China's search market - and the 30% commission, which they say is low by Chinese standards. But 30% is the standard rate for smartphone app stores.