Microsoft has linked its instant messenger service with Sina, China’s largest microblogging site, in a bid to grow its presence in the lucrative Chinese Web market.
A new joint venture company – MSN China – will manage the combined services, which allows Sina’s users to display messages and blogs on Windows Live Messenger and vice versa.
Microsoft is already the second largest provider of instant messaging services in China, but is keen to shore up its position in a market of nearly 900 million active users, FT.com reported citing figures from Analysys.
However the firm lags a long way behind market leader QQ, which handled 77% of instant messaging traffic in China in 2009 compared to Microsoft’s 4.2%, Bloomberg notes.
Industry expert Xie Wen told FT.com the Microsoft deal opens the door for Sina to heap pressure on its rivals.