|Area served||Mainland China|
|Products||Fixedline Telephony &Mobile Telephony
Internet Access & Digital Television
|Revenue||US$ 25.99 billion (2010)|
|Net income||US$ 584 million (2010)|
|Owner(s)||Government of the People's Republic of China|
China Unicom or China United Netcom (Hong Kong) Ltd (Chinese: 中国联合网络通信公司，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.
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. 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.
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  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. 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 SIMs 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.
China Unicom (BVI) Limited effectively holds 40.92% of the company, and China Netcom Group (BVI) Limited holds 29.49%,
In 2009, China UniCom agreed a $1 billion cross-holding with Spain's Telefónica. In January 2011, the two partners agreed a further $500 million tie-up in each other, which following completion in late 2011, Telefonica will hold a 9.7% stake in China UniCom, while China Unicom will own 1.4% of the Spanish firm.
In January 2011, China Unicom and Telefónica S.L strengthened their strategic partnership through a new share exchange. In June 2012, China Unicom Ltd. had agreed to buy back about 1.1 billion shares or about 4.6% stake from Telefonica with total for 11 billion HK$ ($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.
- Communications in the People's Republic of China
- List of companies of the People's Republic of China
- Telecommunications industry in China
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- China awards 3G licences
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- China Netcom / China Unicom Press Release about Merger
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- "Spain's Telefonica sells Unicom stake for $1.4B". June 11, 2012.
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