Users of Tencent Holdings' hugely popular mobile chatting application
may have to pay fees in future to satisfy China's three mobile telecom
operators, Chinese media quoted a government official as saying on
Tencent's Weixin, or WeChat, chatting application (app) is
currently free and has more than 300 million users. The app is
positioned as the next bright revenue spot for Tencent.
media reported that Chinese telecom operators such as China Mobile Ltd,
China Unicom andChina Telecom Corp, are looking to charge users for the
app because of its large data bandwidth use.
China's Ministry of
Industry and Information Technology, the regulatory body that governs
the Internet and telecommunications sectors, is looking at the
possibility of users having to pay a small fee to the telcos to use the
app, said Miao Wei, head of the ministry, according to Caixin Media.
Experts say charging a fee could affect its popularity.
China's largest online gaming and social networking company, said
recently it plans to invest heavily in Weixin to attract more overseas
Chinese media also reported this month that China Mobile is
in the process of developing its mobile instant-messaging app, Fetion,
to compete with Tencent better.
© Thomson Reuters 2013