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BlackBerry Wants to Be the WeChat of Indonesia With Emtek Deal

  • Smartphone maker has 60 million messenger users in Indonesia
  • Signs content deal with Emtek to bring video content to BBM
Photographer: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images

BlackBerry Ltd. is following the example of hugely popular Chinese app WeChat with a plan to turn its BBM messaging application into a one-stop shop for watching video, getting celebrity updates and shopping online.

Seeking to boost its software and services business as handset sales continue to decline, BlackBerry signed a deal with PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk., one of Indonesia’s top media companies, to bring its video content onto BBM and begin developing new applications and services for the messaging app. Indonesia is a bastion of BlackBerry popularity, with 60 million of its roughly 90 million worldwide BBM users living in the archipelago nation. The BBM software isn’t exclusive to BlackBerry handsets and can run on Android to iOS.