QQ is for Chinese young generation, MSN is for white-collar, Skype is for people who have international background, and Gtalk is for geeks. This is how people were using instant messengers in China, several years ago. I was using MSN, just because it’s neat and simple and QQ was ugly and looked messy. But things are changing. Local media reported today that, MSN only has <5% share of Chinese instant messaging market.

Not sure if that figure is accurate, but indeed I see less and less friends are on MSN. You may think that QQ has been doing some tricky staff to beat MSN. But I don’t think so. MSN should complain about the product itself, no one else.

I am not using it for years (since MSN 7.0 maybe?), not only because I am on Mac and the Mac version of MSN is buggy, but also because I really hate its UI/UE (especially when it becomes the Live Messenger). MSN has been trying to aggregate many service Microsoft has, which makes MSN more and more heavier and become too complicated to use. You could laugh at QQ which is a copy of ICQ, but the fact is that even though Tencent has bundled lots of service into QQ, QQ actually is getting improved a lot on the UI design, new features and more important, the user experience.

It’s reported that MSN might have around 40% share of global instant messaging market, which I doubt. Dose MSN still have a team working on its next version? For how long we have not seen any major updates?

The local media said MSN’s failure was just another example of foreign Internet companies’ failure in localization. What I worry most is that MSN’s strategy for mobile internet. QQ’s always one of top downloads in China in both iOS and Android markets, but how’s Live Messenger doing for mobile?

If foreign companies want to enter China market and take a share of it, they need relatively good product and very strong local team for daily operation; but if you don’t even have a good product, Byebye now!

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

Join the Conversation


  1. The reason why MSN doesnt release newer versions is probably they already lost the war to Facebook and Twitter…  I’m a foreigner and I didn’t use MSN for years.  Foreigners use Facebook and Twitter to communicate now.  I personallly think MSN-style messaging is part of the past.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.