Beijing Times, 3/24/11
A source inside China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) said yesterday that the operator is in the process of restructuring its WVAS subsidiary ASPire Holdings. ASPire Holdings' four subsidiaries will be combined into one subsidiary, and the Fetion mobile instant messaging service, which had been managed by ASPire, could be directly managed by China Mobile's data division following the restructuring.
China Mobile holds a 60% stake in ASPire Holdings, which it established; Vodafone, Merrill Lynch, and HP, among others, hold smaller stakes. The company has four subsidiaries: ASPire Digital Technologies, ASPire Information Technologies (Shenzhen), ASPire Information Technologies (Beijing), and 139 Mobile Internet Information Services.
A source inside ASPire said that according to the restructuring plan, ASPire Holdings has already been dissolved, as have three of its subsidiaries. The exception is ASPire Information Technologies (Beijing), to which all employees will be transferred. ASPire Holdings CEO Ye Bing will still be responsible for the new company, and Zeng Zhaohui, former executive president of ASPire Information Technologies (Beijing), will head up the Fetion division.
An inside source said that a number of rumors are circulating within the company regarding the future ownership of Fetion. According to the latest news, China Mobile's data division could establish an operations management center to directly manage Fetion, mobile papers, and other services closely connected to the internet; Fetion technical support may be overseen by Beijing-based IT solutions provider Ultrapower Software (300002.SZ).