Chinese users forgo SMS texting for messaging apps

The trend is putting pressure on China's mobile carriers, which rely on the revenue from SMS messaging

China Mobile had a large presence at Mobile World Congress 2013, drawing attention to its TD-LTE network plans.

China Mobile had a large presence at Mobile World Congress 2013, drawing attention to its TD-LTE network plans.

China has posted a big drop in SMS messaging as local mobile phone users are increasingly choosing mobile messaging apps to share information.

During the first five months of this year, SMS messaging saw a year-over-year decline of 18.4 percent, according to data from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Texts sent via Multimedia Messaging Service or MMS saw an even a greater decline, at 30.6 percent. A year ago, both services were still growing in user activity.

Now, however, China's mobile phone users are instead replacing the services with mobile messaging app WeChat, and Twitter-like service Sina Weibo, according to the country's IT regulator. WeChat alone has close to 400 million monthly active users and many of them come from China.

The shift to mobile messaging apps is putting pressure on the country's carriers. In last year's fourth quarter, China Mobile, the country's largest operator, posted a rare drop in its profit. Revenue from its voice calls and SMS messaging for the company continue to fall.

Despite the drop, China Mobile is banking on its newly launched 4G services to help it increase revenue. At the end of May, the company had 8 million 4G users. But still over half of its total customer base, at 787 million, continue to rely on its slower 2G networks.

The country's mobile phone users are still sending a massive amount of SMS messages. During this year's first five months, China logged over 314 billion SMS texts. The country has 1.256 billion mobile phone users.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile applicationstelecommunicationCarrierschina mobileTencentmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?