In a bid to compete directly with Microsoft's Skype and Tencent's Weixin WeChat, China Mobile International Limited will formally launch a self-developed instant communications and network telephone application named Jego by the end of this month.
Initially targeting the large Chinese overseas diaspora and international users who want to contact their friends and relatives in China, China Mobile is using its heft and monopoly to potentially stifle applications and services from companies like Tencent and Microsoft.
But Derick Li, general manager for China Mobile International's business expansion division, diplomatically told local media that the goal of Jego is not to compete with Tencent's Weixin WeChat, which has nearly 200 million monthly active users, or to compete with any other domestic Chinese instant communications products. Focusing on video and voice communications, Jego's major competitor will instead be Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft.
Jego will provide users with a series of free instant communications services, including instant text messages, instant voice messages, photo sharing, video communications, and multimedia sharing. Relying on its carrier advantages, Jego will be able to offer direct calling to fixed phones and mobile phones in China.
To compete with WeChat and gain more market share, the world's major telecom operators are launching their own instant communications and network telephone services. In 2012, the French telecom carrier Orange launched its instant communications and voice service application named Libon, aiming to provide low-price network telephone services to users. Giles Corbett, who is in charge of the Libon product, said that Libon's goal is to compete with services like Line and WeChat.