As reported earlier this month, Microsoft ended its partnership in China with TOM, and has officially appointed a new partner in order to make its VoIP service available to users in the country.
Microsoft’s joint venture with TOM had been criticized for wiretapping and collaboration with local authorities, with sources claiming that the two companies allowed the Chinese government access to private details and user conversations.
Anyway, Redmond officially announced this new partnership deal with Guangming Founder (GMF) on the official Skype blog, saying that this new partner will support it in delivering Skype across multiple platforms in the country:
“Skype has been at the forefront of changing the way people communicate and GMF is a strong partner with a deep and rich understanding of mobile technology. Our shared excitement about communications and vision for the future will pave the way for us to enrich real communications in China.”
At the same time the two companies have released a refreshed version of Skype — though details of all that is new in this updated release are not exactly clear.
The companies, however, confirmed that Chinese users are able to access Skype on Windows 8.1 as a Modern app, as a desktop client on older versions of the operating system, along with mobile apps on both Android and iOS.
A Windows Phone version is not being offered right now, but a release is promised soon.