US software firm Microsoft\'s online services arm said Thursday that it has inked an agreement to tie up with leading Chinese portal Sina in its latest move to expand in the world\'s largest web market.
The partnership between MSN China and Sina will allow for some linkage of their services such as blogging and instant messaging, the two companies said in a joint statement.
For example, users will be allowed to log onto Sina\'s popular micro-blogging service with their Microsoft Windows Live account name and exchange instant messages with online users of the Chinese service, according to the statement.
Updates on Sina\'s micro-blogging service, which is similar to Twitter, will also appear simultaneously on the writer\'s Windows Live Messenger.
Twitter is blocked in China by government censors.
The partnership "will not only offer our users more convenient and varied Internet applications and experiences, but also further enhance both sides\' competitive advantages," MSN China general manager Liu Zhenyu said in the statement.
The statement added that users of Microsoft\'s Windows Live Spaces blogging service in mainland China would be able to transfer all content from there to Sina blogs.
The partnership was announced amid an ongoing row between Tencent, the operator of China\'s popular instant messaging service QQ and Chinese security software developer Qihoo 360 over privacy issues.
Analysts have said QQ\'s growing dominance is likely to push competitors to shore up their market positions.
China has the world\'s biggest online population of at least 420 million people, according to official data.
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