How Gismart Grew in China Leveraging AppsFlyer | AppsFlyer
Success Story

How Gismart Grew in China with AppsFlyer & Ocean Engine



For any mobile apps company, China represents a massive growth opportunity. When Gismart set their sights on Chinese growth they knew it wouldn’t be easy. Gismart also knew that strategic partnerships would be critical to their success. 

Gismart has grown their portfolio and reputation significantly since launching in 2013. Their success has been built on a combination of hypercasual games and entertainment apps as well as third-party publishing. The pace of their growth was confirmed when The Financial Times listed them as the 6th fastest growing company in Europe. Much of that growth has come from China. 


For apps companies like Gismart, the demands of the Chinese consumer creates huge opportunities. China is also a complex market, especially if you’re a tech company. 

Gismart faced a lot of challenges. Chinese privacy laws, which are amongst the strictest in the world, are difficult to understand and navigate. Then there’s the ‘The Great Firewall of China’ challenge to overcome. The greatest barrier though was a lack of local knowledge.

Despite the challenges, Gismart were committed to growing their audience in China. They knew that to do so they needed two key things – to understand the Chinese consumer and make smarter media buying decisions. 

“It’s complicated to succeed in fast-growth countries like China. If we’re not successful there, we’ll lose momentum. It means that we need great partners. It’s impossible to work in China without this support because it’s a sophisticated market. That’s why selecting the best partners like Ocean Engine and AppsFlyer is so important.”


Rapidly growing an audience in China required the best media partners. One of those was Ocean Engine. Ocean Engine is the parent company of the hugely successful Douyin social media platform. Douyin and its Western sister Tik-Tok have grown dramatically over the last few years. 

Gismart chose Ocean Engine as one of its key strategic advertising partners for two reasons. The volume of traffic and the quality of traffic. Having a large volume of traffic counts for little unless it’s qualified and trusted. In Douyin, Gismart had both. 

Understanding this new audience was important to the Gismart team. Gismart turned to AppsFlyer for help.

“Ocean Engine have shared their knowledge and shown us how to operate. They’ve guided us by better explaining things. Their support has been more human – that’s the thing we’re getting from Ocean Engine in comparison to other channels.” 

AppsFlyer has been a central part of Gismart’s Marketing Stack since 2017. When conversations moved to make the most of Douyin, AppsFlyer Customer Success Manager, Michael Talapov, introduced the Gismart team and to AppsFlyer’s growing office in China. 

AppsFlyer opened its Chinese office in 2015. Since then, AppsFlyer has grown its Chinese team to over 70 people. Having a local team, with local knowledge and connections helps clients navigate the complexity of operating in China. AppsFlyer’s Senior Partner Development Manager, Saima Zhang, worked closely with Michael and the Gismart team to open up direct conversations with Douyin. These conversations helped shape Gismart’s strategy. 

“Local support and insights were essential to us. If we don’t know something, we ask AppsFlyer and get the answer we need. We know there are 70 people working there to help us grow in China. That gives us confidence that we are being looked after. It’s much easier to operate there knowing that if something goes wrong, they’ve got our back.”


The collaboration between AppsFlyer and Ocean Engine has helped Gismart grow significantly in China. Douyin’s audience and AppsFlyer’s technology have played their part, but it wouldn’t have happened without the people. Working in partnership has allowed Gismart to fast-track its Chinese growth. They have a deeper understanding of the market and using their AppsFlyer data as a foundation, are now able to predict the outcome of their campaigns. 

“AppsFlyer is the best company we’ve ever worked with in terms of support. Doesn’t matter when it is, these guys are always answering. We’re grateful for this. All the people in the team are really awesome.” 


Gismart will continue to leverage their partnership with Ocean Engine and AppsFlyer. As each partner rolls out new products and features, Gismart will adopt the same approach that’s already been so successful. They plan to launch more titles into China in the coming years and are starting to grow their own presence in China as well. That commitment and AppsFlyer’s support will help them accelerate their Chinese growth. 


“Our main growth focus in Asia is China. It's becoming more complicated to succeed in fast-growth tier one countries, none more so than China. If we’re not successful there, we’ll lose momentum. It means that we need great partners. It's impossible to work in China without this support because it’s a very sophisticated market. That's why selecting the best partners like Ocean Engine and AppsFlyer is so important.”