China Telecom has formed a joint venture with Chinese Internet company NetEase to launch a mobile chatting app named Yixin.
According to China Daily on Tuesday, officials from both companies said Yixin plans to gain greater market share from its leader, Tencent's WeChat. The launch also comes after reports of the collaboration between the Chinese telco and Internet company emerged last week.
Unlike its competitors, Yixin has the ability to send free text and voice messages to any mobile phone users, whether the receivers have installed the app or not. It is also available on both Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating system.
"Therefore, Yixin has natural advantages over rivals in the first place and can offer differentiated services," Yang Jie, geeral manager of China Telecom said, adding it combined the resources of both NetEase and China Telecom.
William Ding, founder and CEO of NetEase also said the domestic mobile instant messenger market is far from saturated. "The market competition is not sufficient. Both users and the market need more choice," Ding said in a statement. The young generation, in particular want trendy and personalized communication methods, and that is the opportunity for Yixin, he added.
It also also hoped Yixin will be able to get more than 100 million registered users within six months, with an active user base of more than 50 million, Zhang Zheng, former head of NetEase's marketing department and now general manager of Zhejiang Yixin Technology said.
"We hope Yixin can acquire more than half of the mobile messaging market in China," Zhang said.
Other Chinese telcos are taking steps to guard against over the top (OTT) China Mobile also launched mobile messaging app Jego in June but suspended the service three weeks later, and went on to merge its two mobile messaging services Fei Liao and Feition in July. Last month, China Unicom also collaborated with Tencent to launch a SIM card called Weixin Woka, which has an independent data package for WeChat and all of its services,