China is the only country in the world where Microsoft won’t merge MSN (or Windows Live Messenger) with Skype, with reports claiming that local joint ventures block the Redmond-based company from such a move.
Another rumor, however, suggests that Microsoft is actually avoiding to merge the two platforms because both MSN and Skype lose ground in the favor of local services, such as QQ, YY and Wechat.
Investor China reports that MSN still has an important share of the market, but Skype’s user count has dropped significantly in the last couple of years.
According to a report released by research firm iResearch, MSN currently has approximately 6 million daily users in china, while QQ, one of the biggest rivals on the market, has no less than 190 million users.
While this is clearly bad news for Microsoft, the worst thing is that MSN is continuously going down, as it lost nearly 10 million users in the last two years.
Microsoft hasn’t provided an official reason on its decision to retire Messenger, but it indeed confirmed that WLM would continue to be offered in China.
“We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available),” the company said earlier this month.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter if Microsoft decides to go with Skype or WLM in China; the basic idea is that the Redmond-based technology company is losing ground in one of the biggest markets in the entire world. Figures are very likely to decrease even more, so Microsoft needs to act as quickly as possible to prevent a total collapse in China.