WeChat App, Instant Messaging Apps, Mobile IM

Good news for WeChat users as Tencent CEO Liu Chiping says the company’s mobile chat service will remain free in response to Chinese user complaints over possible subscription fees, and said there is no need to charge people to use the service.

Liu’s statement came after China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, said last week the ministry was looking into the possibility of having users pay for WeChat and had asked operators to submit a service plan. This was followed, of course, by a large number of users who said they would no longer use the WeChat service if subscription fees were ever involved. Users feared being charged twice due to the fact that they are already paying for the mobile data plans necessary to access and use the WeChat app.

Liu also said the app’s large user base will offer room for cooperation with telecom operators, and with 300 million users worldwide, he could be right. Still, if WeChat had indeed chosen the subscription route, it’s likely most of its users would have turned to Skype, LINE, or other alternatives to get their mobile messaging fix.

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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at http://www.joshrobertnay.com.