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China Daily Website

Skype announces new partnership in China

Updated: 2013-11-26 22:19
By Gao Yuan (

Microsoft Corp’s online chatting arm, Skype, announced a new joint venture in China after ending its six-year partnership with Li Kashing-controlled media conglomerate Tom Group.

Skype’s new partner will be GMF, an Internet communications company co-created by Founder Group and State-owned newspaper Guangming Daily.

Details of the partnership deal were not disclosed.

The lesser-known GMF will help Skype build a good relationship with the Chinese government because of its parent companies’ backgrounds, said Judd Harcombe, head of Skype’s global market development.

He added that Skype, which specializes in online instant messaging and video call services, will launch more localized services for Chinese users in order to boost its user base.

Chen Jiandong, vice-president of Guangming Daily’s flagship website, said the joint venture will help GMF to better engage the mobile Internet market and develop new-media business.

Established in 2003, Skype has more than 300 million active users globally. It entered the China market in 2004 and achieved a sizeable user population among high-end customers.

Microsoft acquired Skype in 2010 for $8.5 billion to replace its Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging service.

Local services such as WeChat and QQ have been mounting a strong threat to the United States company since 2010. QQ is said to be the most-used online chatting service in China based on customer count. The company declined to provide a figure.

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