China Telecom is reportedly collaborating with Internet company NetEase to launch its own mobile messenger.
According to Tencent Tech on Tuesday, citing sources from the developer Artesyn Technologies, the messenger named "Yixin" is likely to be released in late August or early September.
The publication also claimed to have obtained a beta version of the product, and state it is able to send voice messages to landlines, have a friends circle and the same functions as chat applications such as WeChat.
Telcos worldwide are losing SMS revenues to social messaging services on smartphones, and industry watchers advise mobile operators should offer innovative messaging services, align revenue schemes and collaborate with their rivals.
That said, other Chinese telcos are taking steps to guard against over the top (over the top) messaging applications.
China Mobile commenced efforts to merge its two mobile messaging services Fei Liao and Feition in July, and ask them to download the latter instead due to its larger user base of around 90 million. 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,