China Mobile’s subsidiary Migu Games announced today that converged billing which integrates networks of the three carriers has been formally launched, after nearly half a year’s debugging and closed beta test.
As a further step after “Touch-Pay” billing product under cooperation between China Mobile and China Unicom in 2013, the converged billing of three carriers allows users of all the three carriers to download and pay for mobile games published by any one of them, and also allows game companies to entrust Migu Games (China Mobile) to apply for billing methods of China Unicom and China Telecom, instead of applying for billing services with the three carriers respectively.
As one of the largest state-owned enterprises in China, China Mobile has long been known for repelling its two traditional competitors – China Unicom and China Telecom, instead of cooperating with them to cope with internet companies. A typical example is when China Mobile launched its message product Fetion to complete with Tencent’s QQ in 2007, only its own users can register for the software. When China Mobile finally allowed the other two carriers’ users to sign up for Fetion five years later, it had lost the battle against QQ.
Nowadays, in the era of smart phones, the three carriers have lost large share in the mobile games market, and even their trump card – SMS billing is facing strong challenges from Alibaba’s Alipay, Tencent’s WeChat Payment and other means of payment. Besides, the SMS billing is always associated with illegal charges. Along with the wakening of broad users, the dirty tricks are certainly facing dim prospects.
Various reasons have forced the carriers to collaborate with each other, to deal with common challenges, take good advantages of their monopoly businesses and maintain huge revenues.