China Puts VoIP Providers on Hold Until 2008

Even with help from local Internet companies, Skype and other outfits face challenges in getting through to the mainland

In its effort to break into the Chinese market, Skype seems to have plugged into some good connections. The Internet phone company didn't try to go it alone in the mainland, where regulators tightly control the Net, and the government has restricted foreign investment in the telecom industry. Instead, Skype in 2004 formed a joint venture with Tom Online, a Beijing-based provider of Internet services owned by Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire who has done business successfully in China for years.

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