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Microsoft, Renren Collaborate for Messaging & Social Networking

Microsoft’s MSN China division has partnered with social networking services provider Renren to offer instant messaging and social networking offerings in the booming Chinese online market.

Under the agreement, the companies will allow users to create universal log-ins for their services and let them share photos and status messages, Bloomberg reveals.

Apart from sharing various other services and applications, the companies will also allow users to conduct cross-platform communication.

Software giant Microsoft is looking to expand its presence in the Chinese online market, looking to gain a lead on Google, which has a troubled relationship with China. Only recently, Microsoft partnered with the Baidu search engine to power its English language searches using Bing.

Microsoft’s MSN Messenger, which has around 14 million users in China, stands to benefit greatly from the partnership. However, Microsoft has massive competition ahead as it battles with Tencent for the instant messaging market. Tencent’s QQ instant messaging service has around 600 million users in China.

Baidu is China’s largest search engine and overpowers Google, which is a global leader in online search and advertisements.

Renren, which somewhat looks like a Chinese Facebook clone, has more than 124 million users in China.