Last week rumors circulated that the big three Chinese operators were in talks with Tencent about WeChat’s snatching their text and voice businesses. One rumor went as far as the big three were going to charge WeChat users separately or even Tencent, WeChat’s parent company. Tencent denied the latter.

But what’s true is China Mobile, one of the three, acknowledged threat from WeChat. President of China Mobile, Li Yue, talked on a couple of occasions that their conventional telecom businesses were suffering the consequences of the rise of over-the-top services, especially WeChat. The carrier saw losses in text messages, local and international calls in terms of both usage and revenue.

Data sales cannot compensate for the loss in text messages.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com