WeChat Now Allows Free Calls

Tencent’s WeChat has launched a new compelling service that is bound to attract even more usage, and therefore lead to more gameplay as games are frequently used by WeChat users. There is a new WeChat contacts app that allows users to make and receive free calls, and sends the caller to voice mail (unusual in China) if the recipient does not pick up. Wifi usage makes these calls totally free, but outside of wifi there are data charges.

Xbox One Price Cut

Xbox One had its first price cut since its launch in China. Microsoft announced that during the Duo Eleven holiday (Nov.11, Singles Day, also a day known for heavy retail promotions and discounts in China), Xbox One price was cut to RMB 3,199 ($525), compared to the RMB 3,699 ($600) upon launch a month ago. The price of the Xbox One+Kinect combo was cut to RMB 3,799 ($620), 500 Yuan less than the price upon launch.

Momo Files for IPO

A popular location-based “dating app” called Momo (SNS/messaging app known for connecting with new people) has filed for IPO in the US on NASDAQ under MOMO. Alibaba owns 20.7% of the company already so according to Sinocism this should ease the IPO process in the US despite the fact that it looks like a “bubble top deal.” 63% of net revenue comes from membership subscription fees but the company has entered the mobile games space too and overall the company is growing rapidly.

Lenovo Claims “Hypergrowth” is Over for China’s Smartphone Market

Lenovo says the era of “hypergrowth” is over in China’s smartphone market after the company reported its slowest sales growth in six quarters. This was bound to happen as growth had been red hot and naturally, that steep curve is unsustainable. In Q3 2014, competitor Xiaomi, maker of lower priced smartphones, rose to be the third biggest global vendor of mobile phones, indicating demand for the lower priced phones remains. Growth in mobile usage and mobile device purchases will certainly continue in earnest but Lenovo’s slowing is something to take note of.