China Unicom’s joint SIM card collaboration with Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which includes an independent data package for its messaging service WeChat (known as Weixin in China), has received overwhelming response on the first day that pre-orders were opened to the public.
A Techweb report notes that more than 700,000 users have already placed their orders for the SIM card, called Weixin Woka, by local time 10pm on August 5. The company started accepting pre-orders at midnight.
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It is interesting to note that these 700,000 users only belong to one province in China, as the SIM card will be rolled out exclusively in Guangdong Province for the time being. So that means out of its population of approximately 105 million, 700,000 people within the province have expressed interest in purchasing the Weixin Woka.
The SIM card will go on sale officially on August 8 with three different packages — inclusive of talktime and messages — ranging from RMB66 ($11) to RMB126 ($21). According to the order page, (UPDATE: users need to pay RMB38 ($6.20) for the SIM card that is inclusive of 500MB worth of WeChat data.)
users need to pay RMB10 ($1.60) for 300MB worth of data, and when they sign up in the promotional period (apparently for the first 10 days), they will receive 200MB worth of additional data for free every month for 12 months — making a total of 500MB.
The long-awaited update to Weixin was also rolled out yesterday, which likely contributed to a surge in demand for the SIM card. The latest version of Weixin incorporates payment services, a game center and a sticker store.
Soon after plans were revealed for China Unicom’s SIM card, China Telecom was also reported to soon roll out a plan that includes 2GB worth of data specifically for Weixin and Twitter-like microblogging platform Sina Weibo.
Headline image via WeChat