Chinese messaging system Feition is ceasing services after 15 years of operation, bidding goodbye to its massive collection of over hundreds of million registered users.
In a statement on July 15, developer China Mobile announced that the system would stop working by September 30. Users’ information would be removed at an unspecified time. No reason behind the termination was given.
Launched in 2007, Feition quickly became popular in mainland China for its mobile messaging services at a time when internet texting was still not a reality.
However, the birth of WeChat in 2011 and other instant messaging software later knocked the iMessage-like giant off its pedestal. As smartphones began to gain traction, users swiftly switched to online conversations instead of via the SMS portal.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of internet users in China increased by 11%, reaching 688.26 million. Mobile internet users rose by 24% to approximately 620 million, more than double the overall growth rate. After the two critical years, the service’s active users dropped by 20%.
Feixin also lost its fans after China Mobile stopped offering the service for free, requiring fees for messaging from a PC to a mobile device. A paid membership, which gave more capabilities, including permitting contact lists of 1,000 persons instead of just 500, was made available in 2009 for 5 yuan (74 cents U.S.) each month.
2018 saw the end of financial disclosures for the app by provider Beijing Ultrapower Software Company. After making a profit of 40 million yuan (nearly 6 million dollars) in 2016, the company reported a net loss of 33 million yuan (nearly 5 million dollars) from Feixin the following year. Since then, the corporation has moved its attention to artificial intelligence and video games.