Chinese number two China Unicom has confirmed a partnership to promote an OTT messaging app. In collaboration with media firm Tencent, the operator will offer a SIM card that includes a data package specifically for use with the OTT messaging app WeChat.
The card will launch in Guangdong province in the first week of August, with reports indicating that Unicom subscribers will pay CNY36 ($5.90) per month for the SIM on top of their standard data package.
The move represents something of a turnaround for relations between Tencent and the major Chinese operators, who have pressured Tencent to reimburse them for the volume of WeChat traffic that they carry.
The issue has been acknowledged by Tencent chairman Ma Huateng, who noted that although the company would try to keep its messaging app free of charge, discussions with operators had yielded “preliminary solutions”.