Tuesday, March 21, 2006

China Blocks Skype and other VoIP licenses until 2008

The financial times is reporting that China; in a move to protect fixed line telecom operators, has banned free internet telephone services for at least two years.

TOM online chief Wang Leilei is downplaying this by stating "our strategy is to grow our user base. With a big user base, there is a
lot you can do. Revenue (from SkypeOut) is not important to us because
we have not put in a lot of cost," Still this is a set back for Skype in China, as the attractiveness of reselling Skype paid services for there largest partner is no longer an option. This of course applies to all VoIP services (QQ, Yahoo, MSN etc) not just Skype, but it was reported earlier this month that Skype was adding 950 Thousand Skypers monthly in mainland China.

The question that remains after this mess is whether Skype compatible hardware sales is a big enough carrot for portals to continue promoting Skype at great length given they aren't going to have access to the revenue from paid services?

No comments: