Samsung cans cross-platform ChatOn messaging service

As predicted last month, Samsung is pulling the plug on its ChatOn messaging service.

The Korean news service Yonhap reported on Friday that [company]Samsung[/company] will axe the service on February 1, quoting the company as saying it was doing so “in line with efforts to meet the changing demands in the market and provide differentiated services to users, focusing on other areas such as health and mobile commerce.”

ChatOn has been around since 2011 as a fully cross-platform play – it wasn’t just for Samsung phones, though it came preinstalled – but, according to plausible calculations by TechInAsia, it was unlikely to have gathered more than 50 million active monthly users. Considering Samsung shipped 320 million smartphones in 2013, that’s pretty poor, and it left the app way behind the likes of [company]Facebook[/company]’s WhatsApp (600 million monthly active users) and [company]Tencent[/company]’s WeChat (around 440 million last time we checked.)

Those reports back in November suggested that ChatOn would only be canned in some regions, but it looks as if it will expire everywhere in the first quarter of 2015, including in the U.S., although that market will reportedly get a different shutdown date than elsewhere. According to Samsung, users will be able to download their chat record, photos and videos before the closure.

Uber gets investment from Baidu to aid China push, report claims

The Chinese web giant Baidu will buy a stake in Uber worth up to $600 million, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg. The ride-booking company, which raised $1.2 billion earlier this month to give it a valuation of $40 billion, is currently pushing into China, where it faces stiff competition from local rivals such as the Tencent-backed Didi Dache. Analyst Li Yujie told Bloomberg that cooperation between the companies could see Uber use Baidu’s mobile payment system in China. Integration seems to be the name of the game there – Didi Dache is conveniently tied in with Tencent’s WeChat messaging service, for example.

Telefonica partners with Line for Firefox OS push

Customers buying Telefonica Firefox OS handsets in Spain, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico will get exclusive access to the platform’s Line app, a competitor to the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.