While Tencent is making progress with Weixin in its transition from its QQ platform to mobile phones, Xiaomi is now working in the opposite direction with its Miliao service. Looking to draw from their Internet user-base and compete on a grander scale, DoNews reveals today that Xiaomi is hiring the team behind MSNLite, a third-party version of MSN Messenger popular in China. This means that Miliao is coming to the PC.
Tencent and Xiaomi have been noticeably at odds this past year over what both recognize to be the key to social interaction among Chinese in the not-so-distant future, namely mobile Internet social applications. Pony Ma and Lei Jun, the CEOs of Tencent and Xiaomi respectively, made some jabs at each other when they discussed each other’s products at GMIC2012 this year, exchanging a few laughs about the situation, though the tension was definitely palpable.
The battle is only beginning. While Miliao only has 17 million users compared to Weixin’s 100 million, there is reason to believe that, with the popularity of Xiaomi’s M1 on the rise and its newest model slated for release momentarily, Xiaomi is at an opportune moment to leverage the Miliao platform. If they can manage to seamlessly integrate the mobile and PC versions, they will have done more than Tencent has managed to do so far with QQ and Weixin interconnectivity.