MySpace has plans to expand to China, hopefully in partnership with a local wireless operator. China is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world
, and could have has plans to work with a local wireless operator. According to a source in China, MySpace executives were in Beijing this weekend meeting with senior officials at Chinese wireless operator China Mobile. Fox Interactive Media would not comment on or confirm any negotiations.
If the two companies can craft a deal, it could have a major impact on both social networking and wireless industries, prompting other carriers and social networks to follow suit. China Mobile is the largest cell phone carrier in the world, with over 250 million subscribers. MySpace is the biggest social network on the globe with over 100 million registered users.
News Corp already announced a deal in June with China Mobile to partner on wireless media content. News Corp will have to be careful as it could likely pay a hefty cut to access China Mobile’s fast growing base. China Mobile has its choice of home grown wireless social networks, as well as a company created by former MySpace founder Brad Greenspan called BroadWebAsia.
MySpace has already designed its international expansion, and has ear marked a dozen-odd countries for localized versions of MySpace in the near future. The social network will also be looking to make a strong wireless push in the US in coming months. MySpace currently has an exclusive deal with Helio, the MVNO targeting premium mobile users. The arrangement is likely to end this fall, when MySpace Mobile could make its mainstream debut in the U.S. At CTIA COO Peter Chernin said the company was in talks with all the U.S. wireless carriers.
Social networks and wireless are made for each other technologies, even though no one has really yet cracked the code on marrying the two sectors. South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom owns Cyworld, a social network that has some wireless elements and has found some significant popularity.
Update: Looks like Rupert Murdoch just confirmed that he hopes to launch MySpace for China within a year or so. But seems like no official word on MySpace Mobile in China or any talks with China Mobile.