(Yicai Global) April 26 -- Chinese internet portal Sina Corp. [NASDAQ:SINA] will shut down UC Messenger, its instant messaging app turned internal communication platform which once had 80 million users, on May 10, claiming that a shift in business will see operations on computers, smartphones and tablets grind to a halt.
Sina UC started off as an instant messaging platform in 2002, and had 80 million registered users by November 2003. It competed for market share with QQ, the messenger run by another Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700].
However, the platform's popularity took a turn for the worse when it introduced paid registration in 2003. Sina hoped to revive the messenger through partnership with its blogging platform, Weibo, but the plan fell through and UC ended up as an internal platform for Sina employees.