Microsoft will officially close its instant messaging service MSN in China on October 31, 2014.
Microsoft already shut down MSN services worldwide in March 2013, with the exclusion of the Chinese mainland market; and the company started promoting its other communications product Skype.
According to Microsoft, Chinese MSN services will be shut down on October 31, 2014. However, users will not lose their contacts and they can transfer their MSN accounts and contacts to Skype. In addition, Microsoft will provide a USD2 Skype coupon to Chinese MSN users to experience the international communications service of Skype.
The MSN network was formally launched in August 1995. In 2005, Microsoft introduced the services into China by establishing a joint venture. After entering the Chinese market, MSN suffered localization barriers and slow global decision responses. The software also faced competition from local peers like Tencent's QQ.
In November 2012, Microsoft announced the decision to shut down MSN and transfer users to Skype, with the exception of the Chinese mainland market. In March 2013, the services were terminated in all other countries and regions except mainland China.