China Unicom Jiangsu branch has published a notice stating that it will close the free trial of its instant messaging service from July 1, 2009.
The notice states that according to China's telecom restructuring policies, the former instant messaging service platform of China Unicom has been transferred to China Telecom and China Unicom will not be able to provide this service to users. Therefore, the company decides to close the free trial of this instant messaging service from July 1, 2009. In addition, China Unicom said it is engaged in the building of a more comprehensive system, aiming to provide users with a new instant messaging service with more functions and higher quality.
According to a person in charge of the instant messaging service of China Unicom, this service will be closed nationwide. In regards to whether the company will launch a similar service in the future, she said no relevant notice has been received.
China Unicom started the commercial trial of its instant messaging service called UM in January 1, 2007. Being optimistic about the perspective of the instant messaging sector, the other two Chinese major telecom operators China Mobile and China Telecom also launched their instant messaging services, Fetion and eSurfing Live. So far, China Mobile's Fetion seems to be operating smoothly and China Telecom recently announced that it will launch the 1.0 edition of its eSurfing Live and start the commercial trials.