In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.

The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD.

Google encourages interested Chinese developers to register on the Play Store and set up their Wallet merchant accounts to get started.

This isn't quite the news some may have hoped for, though - the opening of merchant support to China does not mean that Chinese users have access to paid apps on the Play Store. Google's own list of countries with access to paid apps still skips right over China, unfortunately.

This isn't necessarily a surprise - China has long been a problem area for Google in general - from an ongoing grip on internet activity to mobile companies pirating its apps, there are a number of issues Google will need to face before users in China can enjoy paid apps right from the Play Store, but allowing developers in China to distribute their products to the rest of Google's international channels is still good news. It's also news that comes at an interesting time, as The Information published a story earlier today suggesting that Google is looking to make a special version of the Play Store available in China.

Source: Android Developers, Google Support