Internet

Focus Media Peels Off SMS Business

According to ccidnet.com, Focus Media (FMCN), one of the largest digital media groups in China, has stopped all of its mobile phone SMS business, which reportedly has caused a great loss to the company, and is making an adjustment on the business pattern of Focus Wireless which runs the SMS business.

Ji Hairong, vice president of Focus Media, told local media that the restructuring of wireless services and the costs resulting from the termination of a purchase agreement with a mobile phone advertising subsidiary has brought a loss to Focus Media. Ji said that Focus Media has stopped all mobile phone SMS related business and would shift to mobile phone WAP site advertising, wireless instant messaging and various innovative wireless interactive marketing schemes through the adjustment.

In March 2006, Focus Media acquired Chinese domestic mobile phone advertising operator Kaiwei Diangao for USD30 million and began to implement its wireless strategy. In June 2006, Focus Media established Focus Wireless to specially engage in mobile phone WAP site advertising, SMS and MMS advertising, wireless IM and wireless interactive marketing. By the end of 2007, Focus Wireless already took about 50.6% of China's wireless advertising market. However, followed a broadcast of CCTV's 2008 March 15 World Consumer Rights Day program, Focus Wireless' position as an SMS spam creator put it and its parent company Focus Media as a hot topic across China. Suspected of being involved in sending unlicensed short messages, Focus Wireless' SMS channel was shut down by operators.

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