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China IM market expected to expand, Tencent QQ leads, research
[November 06, 2009]

China IM market expected to expand, Tencent QQ leads, research

BEIJING, Nov 06, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China's instant messaging (IM) market is expected to expand, along with its integration into quickly-expanding internet applications, including the mobile internet, online games, and social networking services (SNS).

Statistics from Analysys International show that the market accumulated 1.78 billion registered accounts in the third quarter of this year, up 6.1 percent quarter on quarter, and 21 percent year on year.

The following chart shows the market's registered account number from 2008 to 2009.

In September, IM programs on average reached 150 million Chinese netizens daily, up 4.2 percent month on month, according to iResearch, a market researcher. The daily netizen coverage rate hit 82.2 percent.

Among IM programs, Tencent QQ operated by Tencent (0700.HK) led the market with its average daily users reaching 137.5 million, and a netizen coverage rate of 76.3 percent, 0.6 percentage points higher than August.

IM programs MSN, Fetion by China Mobile (0941.HK; CHL.NYSE), and Alitalk by Alibaba (1688.HK) ranked from second to fourth, respectively. Skipping down the list, Sina UC by Sina (SINA.NASDAQ) and Baidu Hi of Baidu (BIDU.NASDAQ) took the eighth and tenth place positions, respectively.

The following Table One shows the leading 10 IM networks in terms of average daily user number. The summated total of netizen coverage exceeds 100 percent since many users use more than one program.

Table One Top 10 IM programs in China in average daily user number, Sept., 2009 Ranking Software company Average daily user (mln) Netizen coverage 1 Tencent QQ 137.53 76.3% 2 MSN 20.11 11.2% 3 Fetion 18.51 10.3% 4 Alitalk 16.94 9.4% 5 Alitalk Taobao Edition 5.93 3.3% 6 Caihong 3.82 2.1% 7 Skype 2.67 1.5% 8 Sina UC 2.53 1.4% 9 Tencent TM 2.32 1.3% 10 Baidu Hi 2.08 1.2% The market's effective monthly usage time in September amounted to 3.04 billion hours, up 3.4 percent month on month.

The effective monthly usage time of Tencent QQ clocked in at 2.6 billion hours, accounting for 86.5 percent of the total, 0.8 percentage points shorter than in August. Alitalk clocked second with 109.18 million hours.

The following Table Two shows ranking of the leading ten IM programs in terms of effective monthly usage time.

Table Two Top 10 IM programs in China in effective monthly usage time, Sept., 2009 Ranking Software company Monthly effective use time (mln hours) Proportion 1 Tencent QQ 2,630.89 86.5% 2 Alitalk 109.18 3.6% 3 MSN 107.56 3.5% 4 Fetion 88.39 2.9% 5 Tencent TM 35.17 1.2% 6 Skype 16.36 0.5% 7 Alitalk Taobao Edition 9.19 0.3% 8 Sina UC 8.7 0.3% 9 Real Time eXchange (RTX) 8.25 0.3% 10 Baidu Hi 6.69 0.2%

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