China Mobile's (CHL) data shows that the user number for the company's Fetion service increased dramatically from 2.1 million in January to 10 million in June of this year.
However, according to the local media, the high speed increase in Fetion does not come from users' voluntary optional use of the service, but instead to China Mobile's background operations in which the company has opened the service in large batches to increase user numbers. About 70% of the increase was attributed to these means, which is an oft-used measure for telecom operators to develop new users.
Opening a service in large batches means that a telecom operator can choose users of a particular number section and create them automatically as newly increased users and offer a service to this group of users free of charge for a temporary period. Users will be asked to pay a fee if they don't cancel the service after the fourth month.
Apart from Fetion, China Mobile's Mobile Phone Newspaper service user increase was also reportedly realized through this means. The company increased about 2 million new users for its mobile phone newspaper service from March to May this year by opening the service in batches.