Staff at China's instant messaging company Tencent (0700.HK) received an internal memo yesterday that said the company had signed a formal agreement for the acquisition of Foxmail's software and intellectual property rights.

Foxmail is one of the largest email service software providers in China. It is estimated that it has more than 3 million Chinese email service users and its English version users has spread to over 20 nations.

Zhang Xiaolong, founder of Foxmail, and other staff will soon join Tencent, according to published reports.

The price involved in the acquisition has not yet been disclosed.

In a Xinhua news article, Zhang Xiaolong confirmed the corporate agreement, but he refused to make any further comment.

Tencent's published comments say the purpose of purchasing Foxmail is to enhance Tencent's own email service. The company hopes to gain more advanced technology and talented people through this transaction.

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