China Telecom dangles free data to lure customers to its messaging app

China Telecom dangles free data to lure customers to its messaging app

It seems that Chinese companies are going all out to lure customers to their apps with free data — and the war is being played out especially in the messaging apps arena. Users of China Telecom’s mobile IM product Yixin can now get up to 300MB of data for free, Sina Tech reports.

Customers with China Mobile and China Unicom have to invite six friends to Yixin before they can access the free data, but China Telecom customers will immediately receive the data when they register on the app. Furthermore, sending a mere five messages on Yixin each month entitles you to another 60MB of free data in the subsequent month.

Yixin’s move comes hot on the heels of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba making the move to offer free access of up to 2GB of data in November and December for its slew of apps — including Laiwang, the messaging service it has been pushing.

The reigning OTT messaging service in China is currently WeChat (or what is known as Weixin in China) — it was recently revealed that WeChat and Weixin hit a combined new high of 235.8 million monthly active users — and to disrupt the market, its competitors are taking somewhat drastic measures of offering such free goodies.

In the Chinese market where data can be pretty costly, will the promise of free data impact WeChat ultimately? In any case, the consumers are the ones who get to win in this game.

Headline image via Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

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