HKT (Hong Kong Telecom)

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Not to be confused with Communications in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited
Cable & Wireless HKT Limited
Industry Telecommunications
Fate acquired by PCCW
Founded 1988
Defunct 2000 (Separated from PCCW and rename as "HKT" in 2011)
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key people
Richard Li
Products Cable, Internet, Telephony, Mobile Telephony, IDD

Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited, Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) (Traditional Chinese: 香港電訊有限公司) (Former stock code: SEHK8), or Cable & Wireless HKT Limited was the largest telecommunications company in the former British Colony of Hong Kong and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable & Wireless.

HKT had a dominant position in fixed-line, mobile, IDD and broadband services in Hong Kong. It was merged to Pacific Century Cyberworks (PCCW) in 2000.[1] The name 'Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited' is retained by a subsidiary of PCCW.

In October 2011, PCCW shareholders approve the spin-off and separate listing of HKT on the Hong Kong stock exchange. HKT is successfully listed on November 29, 2011.[2]


Domestic telecommunications facilities in Hong Kong became more advanced in 1925 when the Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited (HKTC) took over the interests of John Pender's China and Japan Telephone and Electric Company. The company's mandate included providing all the British colonies with local telephone services. Over the next six decades Hong Kong Telephone's line capacity grew to more than 2.5 million, with the company serving approximately six million people.[3]

Telecommunications became increasingly important following World War I, and in 1929 the British companies Marconi Wireless and Eastern Telegraph joined to establish Cable and Wireless (C&W). The company's strategy was to supply telephone and telegraph services in Britain's colonies, and it succeeded in securing an exclusive franchise to provide international communications services in Hong Kong.[3]

By 1972 the company's biggest operation was its subsidiary in rapidly growing Hong Kong. Hong Kong Telephone, meanwhile, built a new headquarters in 1972. The company's growth was said to typify the colony's transition from an economy based on manufacturing to one dependent on service industries, which created a demand for telecommunications services. In 1975 Hong Kong Telephone's franchise for domestic service in the colony was extended for an additional 20 years, to expire just ahead of Hong Kong's reversion to China's control in 1997.[3]

Chronological Table[edit]

  • 1981: The Hong Kong branch of C&W was established as Cable & Wireless Hong Kong (later Hongkong Telecom International).[3]
  • 1986: Cable & Wireless also announced plans for an underwater optical fiber cable connecting Hong Kong with Japan and South Korea (a part of APCN), to become operational in 1990.[3]
  • 1988: Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited was formed by merger of HKTC and Cable and Wireless (Hong Kong) Limited. It replaced HKTC to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the member of Hang Seng Index Constituent Stocks (blue-chip).
  • 1990: Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited was restructured to four wholly owned operating companies: Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited (HKTC), Hong Kong Telecom International Limited (formerly Cable and Wireless (Hong Kong) Limited), Hong Kong Telecom CSL Limited and Computasia Limited.[4]
  • 1995: Hong Kong Telecom's franchise expired. New companies were allowed to provide local fixed telecommunication services on a competitive basis.
  • 1999: Hong Kong Telecom was renamed to Cable & Wireless HKT.[5]
  • 2000: Hong Kong Telecom was acquired by and merged to Pacific Century Cyberworks. It was renamed to PCCW-HKT Limited.[6]
  • 2011: PCCW made HKT a spin-off business that separate listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.[7]

HKT Acquisition in 2000[edit]

Initially, HKT owner Cable & Wireless entertained a bid from Singapore Telecom, chaired by Lee Hsien Yang, son of Singapore's former premier Lee Kuan Yew. But Central Government of the People's Republic of China was worried about Hong Kong's telecom system would fall into foreigner's hand. With the support of the loan from Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Bank of China (Hong Kong), PCCW, chaired by Richard Li, the younger son of tycoon Li Ka-shing, entered the scene and managed to outbid the Singaporean rival.[8] But this brought PCCW to take high debt and sell assets to return the debt. Finally, PCCW's stock price dropped more than 98% after the Internet bubble burst.[9]

See others[edit]