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Amazon Launches Android App Store in China: Ahead of the Ticker

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- (AMZN - Get Report) is the first Western technology company to offer a platform for paid Android applications in China.

The company has officially launched an Android app store in the country, offering both free and paid apps. Amazon has beaten Google (GOOG - Get Report) to the punch, as the Google Play app store only offers free apps in China.

Amazon has been expanding its presence in China over recent months, launching the Kindle e-book store in December. It has also begun allowing developers to submit Chinese-language apps. Amazon devices like the Kindle and Kindle Fire have not hit the Chinese market yet, but there is speculation that they will soon now that both the Kindle e-book store and Android app store are available in the country.

Amazon's app store will face competition from Chinese rivals that offer free and paid apps, but the company is hoping its brand recognition will lure in customers who are worried about the malware that often comes with apps in the country. Amazon said it checks each app before it offers it for download to protect against malware.

General Motors (GM - Get Report) said it sold 261,870 vehicles in China in April, a 15.3% increase from a year ago.

This comes a month after GM said it plans to invest $11 billion in China, $7 billion of which it plans to invest by 2015.

The company focused on the U.S. in a separate announcement it made on Monday, saying it plans to invest about $16 billion domestically on factories and facilities through 2016.

"Our investments in the U.S. and China reflect our determination to remain number one in the world's top two markets," said GM spokesman Greg Martin.

GM CEO Dan Akerson has plans to boost operating margins in North America to 10% from 7.4% by 2015.

On May 2, GM reported first-quarter net income that dropped 11% to $1.18 billion from the same period a year ago. Excluding items, the company reported profit of 67 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates of 54 cents.
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