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In 2002, Tencent stopped its free membership registration, requiring all new members to pay a fee.In 2003, however, this decision was reversed due to pressure from other instant messaging services such as Windows Live Messenger and Sina UC.In 2006, Tencent filed a copyright lawsuit against Chen Shoufu (aka Soft), the author of Coral QQ, after his distribution of a modified Tencent QQ was ruled illegal.Chen then published his modification as a separate add-on.Due to the popularity of QQ among young people in China, QQ Coins are gradually becoming accepted by online vendors in exchange for "real" merchandise such as small gifts.
Other features were later added, such as chatrooms, games, personal avatars (similar to "Meego" in MSN), online storage, and Internet dating services.
The People's Bank of China, China's central bank, says it is investigating the possibility of cracking down on Q Coins due to people using Q Coins in exchange for real world goods.
Coral QQ, a modification of Tencent QQ, is another add-on for the software, providing free access to some of the services and blocking Tencent's advertisements.
In the United States, Tencent has partnered with AOL to bring QQ Games as a contender in the US social gaming market.
Launched in 2007, QQ Games came bundled with the AIM installer, and competed with AOL's own to provide a gaming experience for the AIM user base.