China Mobile is looking to restructure its instant messaging service Fetion to better compete with more popular offerings such as Tencent's WeChat. To do so, it will be opening up its service to more service operators.
In a report by China Daily Wednesday, China Mobile has reportedly issued an open tender for interested parties to bid for the right to operate Fetion. The instant messaging platform was previously operated solely by Beijing Ultrapower Software, which renewed its contract with the telco last April but the length of the deal was not revealed, according to the company's statement.
The tender process is being conducted by China Mobile's Guangdong branch, it added.
Zhang Qianshan, general manager of Ultrapower's strategic investment department, said in the report China Mobile wants to enhance its presence in the mobile Internet sector.
"An open tender is to introduce competition, which will be good for Fetion's development," Zhang said.
According to China Daily, Fetion was launched by China Mobile in May 2007 and enjoyed great popularity and attracted hundreds of millions of local users. However, it has since fizzled out and is now playing second fiddle to other communications platforms from Internet giants such as Tencent and Sina, it noted.