SMS usage slows drastically

19 Jul 2004

According to Chinese news agency AFP, a number of Chinese internet portals are facing an uncertain short term future due to shifting messaging trends amongst Chinese mobile phone users. In 2003 China’s 300 million cellular subscribers sent an estimated 240 billion short messages between them, a rise of 170% on 2002 levels. However, according to AFP, the growth is set slow to just 25% in 2004 as consumers take advantage of falling voice tariffs, which over the past year have decreased to as little as CNY0.2 per minute, thereby serving to undermine much of the cost advantage of sending an SMS. Earlier this month Nasdaq-listed Chinese portal said its second quarter wireless value added revenue would fall up to 41% to USD4 million on weak SMS sales.