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November 14, 2006

Skype Adding 100,000 per day in China

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/14/2006 08:12:00 AM
I find it incredible and amazing that Skype is adding 100,000 users per day in China. Maybe Skype will replace the landline carriers in China as the preferred method of communications. It's free after all. The official distributor of Skype is Tom Online Inc. (ADR) (Nasdaq TOMO) - a recent WVAS casualty/flameout due to the recent changes in billing policy at China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (Nasdaq CHL). (FYI Skype itself is owned by Ebay Inc. (Nasdaq EBAY))

Skype has been signing up almost 100,000 new users a day in China over the past three months, according to the VoIP firm's local partner, Tom Online.

Tom Online now has at least 23.5 million registered users in China, and these figures almost certainly underestimate the true size of the audience.

The figures suggest that almost one in five Skype users is Chinese. Skype claims 136 million registered users worldwide.

The rapid increase comes despite the censorship of text messages, and questions about the legality of some of Skype's VoIP services in China, which have prevented Tom Online from offering the Skype Out service.

Quite bullish. On the other hand, the International Herald Tribune says Skype is just a nice runner up in the heated China market.

In China, Skype's biggest market, the leading Internet phone company is QQ, owned by the Chinese operator Tencent Holdings, which says it has more than twice the number of users as Skype.

"Skype is in danger of becoming the Netscape of voice over Internet protocol phone companies," said Martin Geddes, a former consultant to an online help service for Skype users called Skype Journal, which is not affiliated with Skype. Netscape developed the first commercial Web browser but lost out to Microsoft.

My opinion: QQ is great for IM. But VOIP, I'd bet on Skype!

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