It’s known to all that Tencent build its entire empire on top of QQ IM service, and we noticed many times that Sina is also trying to leverage the popularity of its Weibo service to expand it tentacles – through the introduction of Qing weibo (Tumblr-like), real-time search engine, WebIM, 3rd apps center and so on.
Not bad moves, but, all of service are still PC-based, in a time when the mobile internet is about to explode.
With the launch of Weixin and iterative improvements, Tencent has successfully established its forefront in mobile era again, this might be the last thing Sina which missed out on the IM, online gaming waves and now relies heavily on online news business want to see.
Hence, no wonder Sina is rumored to launch a Kik-like service to WeiYou (微友, translates to Micro Friends) to compete with Tencent Weixin, the rumor was later on confirmed by Sina staff.
According to people familiar with the matter, Sina WeiYou will be based on Sina Weibo, means you can import all your relationships on one of the most popular Chinese social media. The app also lets you to send free voice messages – just like walkie-talkie – through 3G/GPRS network, no extra charges and no strings attached.
Personally I don’t think this can hurt Weixin in anyway, at least not for now judging by what Weiyou offers. The one might get hurt actually would be Miliao by Xiaomi Tech as the competition grows with more big guys stepped or is about to step their toes into the market with huge user base as their backup. Tencent claims over 711.7 million active QQ accounts and Sina Weibo boasts a registered user base of over 250 million. As for Tencent Weixin, it claims over 30 million users whereas Miliao has 7 million.