Thursday, November 23, 2006

Skype Service Restricted in China

It are not just the UAE and Israel (see elsewhere on my blog), also China has put a hold on Skype’s services in some area’s.

Skype quickly became popular in China with over 23 million users currently online. However its Chinese partner has stated that the service is now restricted in some areas.


Skype's popularity quickly grew despite formally entering the Chinese market only two years ago when a joint venture with Chinese internet service provider TOM.com was created.

The enterprise must comply with China's tight censorship policies and right now is unable to provide its "call to landline" service, because of China's monopoly on Telecom service providers.

Mr. Tu, a TOM manager, believes that use of Skype will continue to increase in China and become an important revenue generator. "In the past year, our development has been very smooth; the increase has been fast, especially in the past several seasons. Honestly, the increase in use is beyond our expectations."

TOM spokesperson Mr. Wei denied that the reduced functionality of the service would result in a loss of customers. "We are not worried, the current customer profile is quite good, and having many Skype users around the world also helps to attract domestic users."

Currently, Skype claims to have 100 million customers globally, with the number of customers in China showing the largest increase. Wei said that in China, 100,000 people register for Skype service through TOM every day. It is estimated that in the near future, China could be the major user of Skype services.

TOM.com is a listed company in the U.S. and Hong Kong. The company's recent financial report shows that, although its Skype-related business had a large increase, all its other internet business ventures have decreased over the past several months.

Source: “
The Epoch Times
The original article in Chinese

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