Social Media News Update Apr 29

China Won’t Force WeChat to Subsidize Telecoms, Says MIIT Spokesman

In a surprising reversal of stance, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) spokesman Zhang Feng said that MIIT would not be involved in the tangle between WeChat and the telecoms, saying that whether WeChat should reimburse the telecoms for lost text messaging income was up to the market. Zhang Feng was quoted as saying that the government hopes to support innovation in the mobile and web industries. So the fight is now between Tencent and the telecoms and no government intervention will be involved. Read More (Chinese).

China’s Social Media Users use WeChat, Weibo to Reach friends, family following Sichuan Earthquake

The aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake left phone lines and mobile networks severely congested. However, WeChat messages and Weibo posts, which consume less telecommunication bandwidth than traditional voice communication, allowed people to find each other and confirm the well being of friends and family. In a case of internet users uniting behind a common cause, the MIIT backed down from their threats to legislate the charging of extra fees to Tencent for taking away text messaging revenue from China telecoms after an uproar amongst China’s social media users. In this case, WeChat and Weibo proved themselves to be valuable public resources, in which case, it would be a difficult thing to convince the public to pay a fee for these services, as they were trying to do. Read More.

Baidu Acquires PPS.tv For Up to US$400M

Chinese search engine giant Baidu is acquiring Chinese online video sharing site PPS.tv for 300-400million USD, according to China Business News. PPS will be integrated into Baidu’s existing online video sharing service, iQiyi. This means that Baidu’s influence will extend to tier 3,4 and 5 cities in China.Read More (Chinese).