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Mobile messaging comes to Oihoo 360

Kouxin goes live in China

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Chinese ISP Qihoo 360 has launched a mobile messaging service on Android, iOS and Symbian smartphones.

The fully-buzzword-compliant Kouxin service, offered to users as a free download, gives customers of the Middle Kingdom realtime multimedia messaging without incurring SMS or MMS charges.

The service will also test Chinese users’ willingness to reveal their location to the network, with a location-based service allowing customers to share their location with their friends (and anyone else, presumably, who’s checking on their network traffic).

Other service capabilities will look familiar to western mobile messaging users, with group text and chat, address book integration with recommendations, and cloud-based list sharing and backup.

Kouxin is also compatible with China’s approved Twitter replica, Weibo, which claims 200 million users and 75 million messages daily, the success of which is attracting increasing attention from Chinese censors.

According to the Financial Times, Weibo user Daniel Wu, a watch enthusiast, offended the censors by including pictures of party officials’ flashy watches on his blog. ®

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