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China Unicom

China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd.
China United Network Communications Limited
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited

State-owned enterprise (Group)
Public companies

  • China United Network Communications Limited
  • China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1994
Headquarters Beijing
Area served China (incl. Hong Kong and Macau), Taiwan
Key people Chairman: Chang Xiaobing
President: Lu Yimin
CFO: Tong Jilu
Products Fixedline Telephony &Mobile Telephony
Internet Access & Digital Television
Revenue Increase US$ 25.99 billion (2010)[1]
Net income Increase US$ 584 million (2010)[1]
Owners People's Republic of China (Group)
Employees 214,400 (2010)[1]
Parent State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Group)
China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. (Public Companies)
Website .com10010 (Chinese)
China Unicom
Traditional Chinese 中國聯通
Simplified Chinese 中国联通

China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 中国联合网络通信集团有限公司) or China Unicom (Chinese: 中国联通), is a Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator in the People's Republic of China. Compared to other mobile providers China Unicom is ranked as the world's third-biggest mobile provider. On January 7, 2009, China Unicom was awarded WCDMA license to expand its business to 3G telecommunication.[2]


  • History 1
  • Merger with China Netcom 2
  • Joint investment with Telefonica 3
  • Stock holding 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


China Unicom was founded as a state-owned corporation, established on July 19, 1994, by the Ministry of Information Industry and approved by the State Council.

Started as a wireless paging and GSM mobile operator, it currently provides a wide range of services including nationwide GSM mobile network, long-distance, local calling, data communication, Internet services, and IP telephony in mainland China, and has operated a CDMA network in Macau since October 18, 2006. As of the end of April 2008, the company had 125 million GSM subscribers and 43 million CDMA subscribers.[3] As of November 2008 the CDMA operations have been moved to China Telecom and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) has just launched in major cities across China on May 17, 2009.

In July 2009, China Unicom signed a $700 million deal with infrastructure vendor Ericsson to upgrade the company's GSM network.

In April 2012, China Unicom was a founding member in the formation of Cloud Computing Industry Alliance in Beijing. Other members of the alliance include Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba.[1] [4]

Merger with China Netcom

On June 2, 2008, China Unicom announced its intention to sell its CDMA business and assets to China Telecom for a combined total of 110 billion RMB [5] and to merge the remainder of the company, in a share swap valued at USD $56.3 billion (based on Unicom's stock last traded price) on June 2, 2008, with China Netcom.[6] The CDMA business was officially moved to China Telecom in early November. It also continues the former China Netcom's and the former China Telecom's PHS mobile phone businesses.

In February 2000 China Unicom became incorporated in Hong Kong and was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on June 22, 2000. They are an MVNO running on Three's 2G network. They are the only provider to sell SIM cards that provide native phone numbers on both sides of the border (charging slightly higher rates than local while in the mainland, but cheaper than roaming with another provider—in some cases even cheaper than a SIM from another Chinese province if being used in Shenzhen/Guangzhou area).

Joint investment with Telefonica

As of January 2011, China Unicom and Telefonica strengthened their strategic alliance and agreed on a new mutual investment. The companies agreed to deepen their cooperation in areas such as procurement, mobile service platforms, service to MNC's wholesale carriers, roaming, technology, among others, where both companies have been cooperating since the signature of their strategic alliance agreement.[7]

Stock holding

China Unicom (BVI) Limited effectively holds 40.92% of the company, and China Netcom Group (BVI) Limited holds 29.49%,[8]

In 2009, China UniCom agreed a $1 billion cross-holding with Spain's Telefónica. In January 2011, the two partners agreed a further $500 million tie-up in each other, which following completion in late 2011, Telefonica will hold a 9.7% stake in China UniCom, while China Unicom will own 1.4% of the Spanish firm.[9]

The residual shares are traded on the Shanghai, Hong Kong and the New York stock exchanges.[10] Both majority shareholders are state controlled enterprises.[8]

In January 2011, China Unicom and Telefónica S.L strengthened their strategic partnership through a new share exchange.[11] In June 2012, China Unicom Ltd. had agreed to buy back about 1.1 billion shares or about 4.6% stake from Telefonica with total for 11 billion HK$ ($1.4 billion). Telefonica will still own 5% of China Unicom Ltd. and the deal is expected to close by the end of July 2012.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "2010 Form 10-K, China Unicom plc". Yahoo. 
  2. ^ China awards 3G licences
  3. ^ China Unicom Subscriber Data
  4. ^ "China Cloud Computing Industry Alliance Established". BrightWire. 
  5. ^ China Netcom / China Unicom Press Release about Merger
  6. ^ "China telecom companies agree to $56 billion merger". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  7. ^ "Telecommunications - China Unicom and Telefonica Strengthen Strategic Alliance". Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ "Telefonica and China Unicom strengthen ties". BBC News. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ [2]..]
  12. ^ "Spain's Telefonica sells Unicom stake for $1.4B". June 11, 2012. 
  • China Unicom Hong Kong: About Us

External links

  • China Unicom
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