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China Mobile Communications Corporation (Chinese: 中国移动通信集团公司; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yídòng Tōngxìn Jítuán Gōngsī) d/b/a simply China Mobile is a Chinese state-owned[5] telecommunication corporation that provides mobile voice and multimedia services[6] through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network across mainland China.[2] China Mobile is the largest mobile telecommunications corporation by market capitalisation,[7] and also the world's largest mobile phone operator by total number of subscribers, with over 902 million subscribers as of June 2018.[8]

China Mobile Communications Corporation
Traded as
PredecessorChina Telecom (Hong Kong) Limited[1]
Founded3 September 1997; 21 years ago (1997-09-03)[2]
HeadquartersNo. 29, Financial Street, Xicheng District, ,
Area served
Key people
Bing Shang (Chairman)
Li Yue (CEO)[3]
RevenueDecrease US$ 101.938 billion (2016)[4]
Increase US$ 16.992 billion (2016)[4]
Decrease US$ 15.661 billion (2016)[4]
Total assetsDecrease US$ 218.864 billion (2016)[4]
Total equityDecrease US$ 140.876 billion (2016)[4]
OwnerGovernment of China
Number of employees
493,000 (2017)[4]
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 meaningChina Mobile

The core subsidiary of the group, "China Mobile Limited", is listed on both the NYSE and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[2] China Mobile also operates China Mobile Hong Kong, a subsidiary mobile network in Hong Kong. As of August 2017, China Mobile's total market value stood at RMB 1.57 trillion.[4]

In August 2018, China Mobile's CEO Li Yue said that the company may spin off three or four subsidiaries for separate listings.[9] Any spinoffs would involve subsidiaries with independent operations, less connection with the core business and discrete financials. Both the mainland markets and Hong Kong could be options for the potential listings. But Li ruled out splitting off China Mobile's Hong Kong subsidiary as doing so would contradict the company's strategy of integrating its mobile businesses.[9]



A state-owned enterprise directly controlled by the government of the People's Republic of China[5] and also a public company which 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 Telecommunications Corporation.[11] (This company continues to provide mobile services, however.[10])

State controlEdit

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 baseEdit

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 activitiesEdit

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 acquisitionsEdit

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]

Frequencies used on China Mobile Network in China
Frequency Frequency Width Protocol Band Notes
900 MHz (885-890, 890-909/935-954) 19x2MHz + 5MHz GSM/LTE 8
1800 MHz (1710-1735/1805-1830) 2x25MHz GSM/LTE 3
2100 MHz () MHz LTE 1 trial
1900 MHz (1880~1920) 40 MHz TD-LTE 39
2300 MHz (2320~2370) 50 MHz TD-LTE 40
2600 MHz (2575~2635) 60 MHz TD-LTE 38/41
2600 MHz (2515~2675) 160 MHz 5G NR Trial until June-2020
4900 MHz (4800-4900) 100MHz 5G NR Trial until June-2020

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 dealEdit

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

Service brandsEdit

China Mobile uses other names to differentiate its offerings.

Mainland ChinaEdit

A China Mobile store in Shenzhen

Mobile services are available in Mainland China under several brands as of 2007.[33] As of 2013, the below brands are scheduled to be slowly phased out and replaced by an all-encompassing new brand name—And[34]—whose logo combines an exclamation point, the Chinese character for "peace" (Chinese: 和, Hanyu Pinyin: ), as well as the English word "and".[35]

A sign near a China Mobile fiber-optic cable reminds of the legal responsibility for damaging telecommunication cables

(Chinese: 神州行, Hanyu Pinyin: Shénzhōuxíng Rough translation: "Travel across China"[36] (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[36] flagship brand[37]


(Chinese: 动感地带, Hanyu Pinyin: Dònggǎndìdài Rough translation: "Dynamic Area"): a premium prepaid service popular with youths[37]


A 3G service brand[35] (likely introduced post-2007)

Hong KongEdit

CMHK is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Mobile. It offers GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+ (MVNO), FD-LTE and TD-LTE technologies to customers in this the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.[38]


United KingdomEdit

In December 2017, China Mobile launched a MVNO service in the UK called CMLink. CMLink is aimed at the Chinese population living in the UK and Chinese visitors and students. Plans include free calls to China Mobile phones in China.[39]


The company was the main sponsor of China's national basketball team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.[40]


  1. ^ a b Milestone China Mobile Official Site
  2. ^ a b c d e f Company Profile China Mobile Official Site
  3. ^ "People: China Mobile Ltd". Reuters. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "China Mobile Financial Report 2016".
  5. ^ a b Strait deals The Economist, 7 May 2009
  6. ^ Company Profile Archived 4 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site
  7. ^ FT Global 500 (PDF). The Financial Times. March 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Operation Data". China Mobile. 31 August 2017.
  9. ^ a b "China Mobile Weighs Spinoffs for Separate Listings - Caixin Global". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "Chinese Telecom: China Mobile Leads the Way". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 5 August 2009
  18. ^ a b Homepage > Brand & Products > Business Review Archived 22 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site
  19. ^ 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Report – Rural Program Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site
  20. ^ CMCC Officially Enter Pakistani Telecommunication Market, 25 March 2007 Archived 1 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site
  21. ^ a b ZoNG the first international brand of China Mobile being launched in Pakistan, 5 April 2008 Archived 11 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine 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[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Beijing Olympic Games spur another technological leap forward Archived 28 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site, 18 Aug 2008
  26. ^ Homepage > About CMCC > Networks & Technologies Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine CMCC Official Site
  27. ^ a b c Lee, Chyen Yee (16 May 2012). "China Mobile in talks with Apple for iPhone". Thompson Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  28. ^ a b 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. ^ "Our Brands". China Mobile. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2008. ( cache)
  34. ^ "Leo Burnett Wins Pitch for Telecom Giant China Mobile 'And' Brand". Leo Burnett. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  35. ^ a b Jingting, Shen (18 December 2013). "China Mobile launches new 4G service brand". China Daily.
  36. ^ a b "DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUANQIUTONG AND SHENZHOUXING". Wangjianshuo's blog. Shanghai. 19 March 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  37. ^ a b Homepage > Brand & Products > Our Brands CMCC Official Site ( cache)
  38. ^ "Corporate Overview". Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  39. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ 2010 FIBA World Championship Team photos Archived 18 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, Retrieved 19 July 2016.

External linksEdit