China Mobile

China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC)
Native name
State-owned enterprise
Industry Telecommunications
Headquarters Beijing, People's Republic of China
Owner State Council of the People's Republic of China
(Communist Party of China)
Parent State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council
China Mobile Limited
Native name
Public company
Traded as SEHK: 0941
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessor China Telecom (Hong Kong) Limited[1]
Founded September 3, 1997 (1997-09-03)[2]
Headquarters 60/F, The Center, Hong Kong, China (registered office)
Area served
Mainland China, Hong Kong, Pakistan
Key people
Bing Shang (Chairman)
Li Yue (CEO)[3]
Products Fixed line and mobile telephony, internet services
Revenue IncreaseCNY 641.448 billion
($100.4 billion, 2014)[4][5]
DecreaseCNY 142.6 billion
($22,3 billion, 2014)[4]
DecreaseCNY 109.4 billion
($17,1 billion, 2014)[4]
Total assets IncreaseCNY 1,296 billion
($203 billion, 2014)[4]
Number of employees
241,550 (2014)[4]
Parent China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC)
China Mobile
Simplified Chinese 中国移动通信集团公司
Traditional Chinese 中國移動通信集團公司
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 中国移动有限公司
Traditional Chinese 中國移動有限公司
Second alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 中国移动
Traditional Chinese 中國移動
Literal meaning China Mobile

China Mobile Communications Corporation is a Chinese state-owned[6] telecommunication company that provides mobile voice and multimedia services[7] through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network.[2] The company is the largest mobile telecommunications company by market capitalization today, and it was named as such in March 2011.[8] China Mobile Limited is listed on both the NYSE and the Hong Kong stock exchange.[2]

As of May 2016, China Mobile is the world's largest mobile phone operator by subscribers with about 835 million.[9]


A state-owned enterprise directly controlled by the government of the People's Republic of China[6] and also a public company that is listed on the NYSE and the Hong Kong stock exchanges,[2] China Mobile has dominated Chinese mobile services since its inception. As of 2010, China Mobile controls the vast majority of its domestic mobile services market with a 70% market share.[10] China Unicom and China Telecom have 20% and 10% shares, respectively.[10]

Incorporated in 1997 as China Telecom (Hong Kong) Limited,[1] China Mobile was born from the 1999 break-up of China Telecom.[11] (This company continues to provide mobile services, however.[10])

State control

The company likely enjoys substantial protectionist benefits from China's government[12] but also experiences frequent government intervention in its business affairs.[13] Government control is maintained through a presumably government-owned holding company, China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC), that owns 100 percent ownership of China Mobile (HK) Group Limited,[14] which in turn holds over seventy percent ownership of China Mobile–the remainder being controlled by public investors.[2] Established in 2000,[14] CMCC is China Mobile Ltd's current parent company as of 2011.[15]

Rural subscriber base

Wang Jianzhou, Chairman and CEO during the Market Insight: Frontier Markets plenary session in Tianjin, China, 28 September 2008.[16]
display of China Mobile phones, 2010

China Mobile has historically held a greater share of the rural market than competitors.[17] By 2006, its network had expanded to provide reception to 97% of the Chinese population,[18] and the company has since seen a sustained stream of new, rural mobile customers.[17]

It also offers services targeted at the rural market including an agricultural information service, which facilitates a variety of activities such as the sale and purchase of agricultural products, access to market prices for produce and crops, wire transfers, bank withdrawals, and payments, etc.[19]

Overseas activities

The company branched out in 2007 with the purchase of Paktel in Pakistan[20] launching the Zong brand there a year later.[21]

In 2013, China Mobile eyed expansion into Myanmar expressing interest in bidding for one of two licences on offer in a partnership with Vodafone although this plan ultimately fell through.[22]

Domestic acquisitions

In May 2008, the company took over China Tietong, a fixed-line telecom[23] and the then third-largest broadband ISP in China[24] adding Internet services to its core business of mobile services.


China Mobile operates a GSM network,[25] which encompasses all 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and directly administered municipalities in Mainland China and includes Hong Kong, too.[2] GPRS is utilized for data transmission.[26]


The company controls 70% of the Chinese mobile market but a far smaller percentage of the 3G market.[10] As of May 2012, its nearly 60 million 3G subscribers account for roughly 9% of its total subscriber base,[27] which is an increase from 3% in 2010.[10]

Its 3G network, still under construction in 2010, utilizes the TD-SCDMA standard, which China Mobile helped develop. 3G service is available in all of the 4 direct-controlled municipalities and most of the 283 prefecture-level cities in China as of 2010.[28]


As of 2010, China Mobile has debuted small-scale 4G demonstration networks using a variant of 3GPP's Long Term Evolution, TD-LTE, and has plans for larger, citywide demonstration networks in the future.[28] As of May 2012, such networks are in operation.[27]

While prior iPhone models couldn't use the China Mobile network due to the chipset relying on WCDMA-based networks, talks to carry the then unreleased 4G iPhone (iPhone 5) began in mid-2012.[27] The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s were sold through China Mobile starting in January 2014.[29]


In 2003 and again in 2007, China Mobile provided mobile services on Mount Everest.[30]

Spratly Isles coverage

In May 2011, China Mobile announced its network now includes the controversial Spratly Islands.[31]

Nokia deal

In October 2014, Nokia and China Mobile signed a $970 million framework deal for delivery between 2014 and 2015.[32][33]

Service brands

China Mobile uses other names to differentiate its offerings.

Mainland China

Mobile services are available in Mainland China under several brands as of 2007.[34] As of 2013, the below brands are scheduled to be slowly phased out and replaced by an all-encompassing new brand name—And[35]—whose logo combines an exclamation point, the Chinese character for "peace" (Chinese: 和, Hanyu Pinyin: ), as well as the English word "and".[36]


(Chinese: 神州行, Hanyu Pinyin: Shénzhōuxíng Rough translation: "Travel across China"[37] (lit. "travel the holy states")): a basic prepaid mobile phone service more heavily marketed in rural areas[18]


(Chinese: 全球通, Hanyu Pinyin: Quánqiútōng Rough translation: "Global Connect"): subscription[37] flagship brand[38]


(Chinese: 动感地带, Hanyu Pinyin: Dònggǎndìdài Rough translation: "Dynamic Area"): a premium prepaid service popular with youths[38]


A 3G service brand[36] (likely introduced post-2007)

Hong Kong

Peoples is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Mobile (Hong Kong) Limited. It offers GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+ (MVNO), FD-LTE and TD-LTE technologies to customers in this Special Administrative Region.[39][40]



The company was the main sponsor of China's national basketball team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.[41]


  1. 1 2 Milestone China Mobile Official Site
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Company Profile China Mobile Official Site
  3. "People: China Mobile Ltd". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Annual Report - 2014" (PDF). China Mobile Limited. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  5. "Financial Statements for China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) - Google Finance". Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  6. 1 2 Strait deals The Economist, 7 May 2009
  7. Company Profile Archived 4 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. CMCC Official Site
  8. FT Global 500 (PDF). The Financial Times. March 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  9. Operation Data – Customer Numbers China Mobile Official Site
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 China Mobile Still Dominates, but Faces Competition in 3G., 22 October 2010
  11. Asian economic and political issues, Volume 8 (page 68) Frank Columbus, Nova Publishers, 2003 (Google Books)
  12. Asian Economic and Political Issues, Volume 8 (page 54) 2003. Frank Columbus. Nova Publishers. (Google Books)
  13. Asian Economic and Political Issues, Volume 8 (page 84) 2003. Frank Columbus. Nova Publishers. (Google Books)
  14. 1 2 CMCC Profile CMCC Official Site ( cache)
  15. China Mobile, MTR, SJM Holdings, ZTE: Hong Kong Stocks Preview By Kana Nishizawa, – 17 May 2011 5:54 PM PT
  16. Copyright World Economic Forum
  17. 1 2 "Chinese Telecom: China Mobile Leads the Way". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 5 August 2009
  18. 1 2 Homepage > Brand & Products > Business Review CMCC Official Site
  19. 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Report – Rural Program CMCC Official Site
  20. CMCC Officially Enter Pakistani Telecommunication Market, 25 March 2007 CMCC Official Site
  21. 1 2 ZoNG the first international brand of China Mobile being launched in Pakistan, 5 April 2008 CMCC Official Site
  22. "Vodafone and China Mobile pull out of Myanmar race". Thomson Reuters. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  23. Telecoms in China The Economist, 29 May 2008
  24. China Mobile to take over China Tietong Telecom
  25. Beijing Olympic Games spur another technological leap forward CMCC Official Site, 18 Aug 2008
  26. Homepage > About CMCC > Networks & Technologies CMCC Official Site
  27. 1 2 3 Lee, Chyen Yee (16 May 2012). "China Mobile in talks with Apple for iPhone". Thompson Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  28. 1 2 China Mobile Limited: Annual Report 2010 (PDF). China Mobile Ltd. 2010. pp. 13–14. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  29. Anthony Ha. "Apple Announces Deal To Bring iPhones To China Mobile Starting On Jan. 17". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  30. For 2003 service, see Everest goes online for anniversary Mary Hennock,, Wednesday, 23 April 2003, 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK
  31. Ian Mansfield, 18 May 2011, China Mobile Expands Coverage to the Spratly Islands, Cellular News
  32. "Nokia, China Mobile sign $970 million framework deal" (Press release). Reuters. 10 October 2014.
  33. "Nokia, China Mobile sign $970 million framework deal". 10 October 2014.
  34. "Our Brands". China Mobile. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2008. ( cache)
  35. "Leo Burnett Wins Pitch for Telecom Giant China Mobile 'And' Brand". Leo Burnett. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  36. 1 2 Jingting, Shen (18 December 2013). "China Mobile launches new 4G service brand". China Daily.
  37. 1 2 "DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUANQIUTONG AND SHENZHOUXING". Wangjianshuo's blog. Shanghai. 19 March 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  38. 1 2 Homepage > Brand & Products > Our Brands CMCC Official Site ( cache)
  39. "Peoples: Company Profile (English)". China Mobile Peoples Telephone Co. Ltd. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  40. "Corporate Overview". Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  41. 2010 FIBA World Championship Team photos,, Retrieved 19 July 2016.
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