Business VoIP Featured Article

Microsoft's Skype VoIP App Banned in China

November 22, 2017

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

The Chinese government is at it again with its attempts to undermine Western tech companies. This time, it has banned the Skype app, which has been pulled from Apple’s App Store and Android stores.  The Chinese Ministry of Public Security told Microsoft the VoIP app does not comply with local regulations.  Microsoft is the latest company to be banned in the country; Google, Twitter, and Facebook were blocked years ago.

For small businesses that rely on cost-effective VoIP solutions, like Skype, this latest ban hampers their ability to conduct business – whether they are local businesses, or international firms with customers or suppliers in China.

But, it does highlight the fact that there are many cost effective VoIP services available that will enable them to communicate effectively within and across borders.  The hosted cloud-based communications services that are starting to dominate business communications offer not only cost-effective alternatives to voice apps as well as traditional telephony, but they provide an array of business features that make communications more effective, including conferencing, mobile integration, web-based management and control, cloud-based fax, and of course, professional service and support.  They also provide a much higher quality of service than Skype, WhatsApp, and other communications apps that are designed for consumer use, but have found a home in many businesses looking to cut costs – and corners.

According to Infonetics, the cloud PBX market will eclipse the $12 billion mark next year, with more than 62 million seats.  Gartner suggests that cloud, as a percentage of overall UC spend, will grow by almost 50% from 2015 to 2020.  If there’s any doubt as to the viability of cloud communications, recent significant acquisitions in the space should help dismiss it.  Cisco acquisition of BroadSoft and Mitel’s deal to buy ShoreTel are a clear indicator that cloud is the future of business VoIP.

So, while Skype may seem like a reasonable option, especially for small businesses, the business VoIP services available today cater specifically to those types of businesses and providing a much more professional communications infrastructure that will reflect positively on any business.

As for Skype, the app reportedly still works in China, but users have complained for some time about an inability to update the app or buy Skype credit.  While Microsoft says it is trying to have the app restored, businesses everywhere should take the opportunity to reconsider their communications capabilities, whether they currently use consumer apps or still rely on their legacy PBXs.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz



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