China Mobile has commenced efforts to merge its two instant messaging (IM) services Fei Liao and Feition.
Sina Tech reported Monday that China Mobile sent out an SMS notice to Fei Liao users, saying they will not be able to send and receive messages from its other IM platform, Fetion. They were asked to download Fetion instead, according to the SMS which noted that the change will be effective from July 10.
Fei Liao offers an additional feature that allows users to send and receive voice messages, which will be integrated into Fetion. The report added that promoting both Fetion and Fei Liao as separate products will be detrimental as it would affect their customer appeal.
China Mobile also is more keen to promote Fetion due to its larger user base of around 90 million. In comparison, Fei Liao only has a few million users, according to the report.
Reports in April said the Chinese telco was planning to integrate its two platforms and would launch a tender calling for technical support services of the combined platform for multiple providers. China Mobile launched Feition in May 2007 but its popularity had since fizzled out, compared to other communications platforms from Internet giants such as Tencent and Sina.