Fixed-line operator China Telecom yesterday said it will buy China Unicom's code division multiple access (CDMA) business and network for 110 billion yuan as part of the country's plan to revamp the telecom industry.
China Telecommunications Corp said in a statement to Hong Kong stock exchange that it will buy China Unicom's CDMA subscribers for 43.8 billion yuan and will pay 66.2 billion yuan for the network.
The announcement came hours after China Unicom, the country's smaller mobile phone operator, said it will take over fixed-line operator China Netcom in a deal valued at HK$439.17 billion.
The company said it will swap 1.5 of its Hong Kong-listed shares for every share in China Netcom, which will be de-listed after the deal is completed.
The moves are part of China's long-awaited plan to restructure its telecom industry, in which six operators will be merged into three full-service carriers.
The government hopes the restructuring will help create a more competitive telecommunications industry and break the de facto monopoly of China Mobile, the country's largest cell phone operator.
China launched the long-anticipated telecom restructuring on May 23 when China Mobile Communications Corp (CMCC), parent of Hong Kong-listed China Mobile Ltd, said in an announcement that it would acquire fixed-line operator China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.
The government last month promised to issue three 3G licenses as soon as the restructuring is completed.
According to the companies, China Telecom will have 297 million users after the restructuring while China Unicom and China Mobile will have 258 million and 425 million respectively.
Wang Guoping, analyst from China Galaxy Securities, has said in reports that although the restructuring seems to have hurt China Mobile and benefited China Telecom and China Unicom, its real impact is still unclear.
"The restructuring plan will not deprive China Mobile of its leading position in the market as it still has the largest users," he said.
China Unicom, China Telecom and China Netcom shares have been suspended from trading since May 23 pending "price-sensitive" announcements. The three yesterday said trading will resume today.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.