MySpace China To Launch IM Service

    June 14, 2007

MySpace may soon launch a new instant messaging service, but to use it, you’ll probably have to watch what you say.  And you may have to speak Chinese, as well – it’s MySpace China that plans to do this deed.

Instant Messaging For Myspace
Instant Messaging For Myspace

According to a Reuters article, “News Corp.-invested MySpace China aims to launch an online messaging service ‘as soon as possible,’ its CEO said on Wednesday, as the venture fights for a bigger share of the world’s second-largest Internet market.”

“The roll-out depends on user feedback and whether the performance is able to satisfy users’ demands,” the CEO, Luo Chuan, continued.  “We hope to roll it out quickly . . . ”

Don’t be surprised if things happen at less than lightning speed due to some repression-related problems – the Chinese government isn’t known for cooperating with American companies.  Yet MySpace China is locally owned and operated, and it seems that an IM service would avoid some of the problems Yahoo and Google have encountered, so censorship isn’t a sure thing.

A tough market is, however.  Reuters reports that “Internet portal Tencent Holdings, which operates a ‘QQ’ messaging service, controls 79 percent of the Chinese messaging market . . .”

And the usual crowd of early adopters may already be spoken for, as “Microsoft’s online communication tool, MSN Messenger, is already part of everyday life for teenagers and young professionals in China, with over 20 million users there,” the article continues.

Still, The Motley Fool’s Steven Mallas points out, “If [Rupert Murdoch’s] MySpace division can steal mindshare away from all the Chinese platforms, then News Corp. will be in a good position to expand its base of registered users and leverage it to build up its other brands.”