Competition is heating up in the instant messaging space, and this is the segment to keep an eye on over the next year: WeChat the popular messaging service from Chinese major TenCent is being launched in India, MediaNama had learned from reliable sources. Confirming the development, ibibo CEO Ashish Kashyap told MediaNama that the product is being launched as a part of their social portfolio, as a follow up to the iBrowser mobile browser, which ibibo launched a little over a year ago, which the company recently claimed crossed the 6 million downloads mark, with 50% active users. TenCent has a 20% stake in ibibo (MIH India), while Naspers has 80%. Keep in mind that Naspers also has stake in Nimbuzz, which recently shifted its headquarters to India. So why would Naspers have two products in the messaging space in India? We had heard from sources that TenCent was considering launching WeChat in India by itself, and that Rahul Razdan, President (Social Media, Games & Mobile) at ibibo was going to be appointed its India CEO, but Kashyap dismissed this as a rumor, saying that WeChat is being launched as a part of ibibo's Social Media business, and Razdan continues head the Social Media, Games & Mobile segment at ibibo. As a part of its arrangement with Naspers, Tencent has the option of acquiring up to 50% in ibibo, and while it did say in 2008 that it will invest $7.5 million in the company, it is also licensing its…
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