Management at Skype is under pressure from its parent Ebay (EBAY) to deliver some revenue. The company’s last 10-Q shows "communications revenue", Skype, with revenue of $89 million. Skype had 220 million registers users at the end of Q2, so the yield per is pretty poor.
Now Chinese search engine leader Baidu (BIDU) is launching an instant messaging platform that is aimed at services like GTalk and Skype. Ebay would probably not like having a competitor in the world’s most populated market. But, it will be getting one nonetheless.
Baidu plans to use its large customer base to funnel users to its IM feature.
Shanda Interactive (SNDA) also plans to launch a fully featured IM product.
China is currently the second largest PC market in the world and is already the largest handset market. Expanding competition for messaging and VoIP there could do some real harm to Skype’s revenue plans.
Douglas A. McIntyre