China Mobile (Chinese: 中国移动; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yídòng, officially China Mobile Communications Corporation Chinese: 中国移动通信集团公司; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yídòng Tōngxìn Jítuán Gōngsī) is a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company that provides mobile voice and multimedia services through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network across mainland China. China Mobile is the largest mobile telecommunications company by market capitalization, and also the world's largest mobile phone operator by total number of subscribers, with over 873 million subscribers as of August 2017.
The core subsidiary of the group, "China Mobile Limited", is listed on both the NYSE and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 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.
A state-owned enterprise directly controlled by the government of the People's Republic of China and also a public company that is listed on the NYSE and the Hong Kong stock exchanges, 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. China Unicom and China Telecom have 20% and 10% shares, respectively.
Incorporated in 1997 as China Telecom (Hong Kong) Limited, China Mobile was born from the 1999 break-up of China Telecom. (This company continues to provide mobile services, however.)
The company likely enjoys substantial protectionist benefits from China's government but also experiences frequent government intervention in its business affairs. 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, which in turn holds over seventy percent ownership of China Mobile–the remainder being controlled by public investors. Established in 2000, CMCC is China Mobile Ltd's current parent company as of 2011.
China Mobile has historically held a greater share of the rural market than competitors. By 2006, its network had expanded to provide reception to 97% of the Chinese population, and the company has since seen a sustained stream of new, rural mobile customers.
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.
The company branched out in 2007 with the purchase of Paktel in Pakistan launching the Zong brand there a year later.
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.
In May 2008, the company took over China Tietong, a fixed-line telecom and the then third-largest broadband ISP in China adding Internet services to its core business of mobile services.
China Mobile operates a GSM network, which encompasses all 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and directly administered municipalities in Mainland China and includes Hong Kong, too. GPRS is utilized for data transmission.
The company controls 70% of the Chinese mobile market but a far smaller percentage of the 3G market. As of May 2012, its nearly 60 million 3G subscribers account for roughly 9% of its total subscriber base, which is an increase from 3% in 2010.
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.
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. As of May 2012, such networks are in operation.
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. The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s were sold through China Mobile starting in January 2014.
In 2003 and again in 2007, China Mobile provided mobile services on Mount Everest.
In May 2011, China Mobile announced its network now includes the controversial Spratly Islands.
In October 2014, Nokia and China Mobile signed a $970 million framework deal for delivery between 2014 and 2015.
China Mobile uses other names to differentiate its offerings.
Mobile services are available in Mainland China under several brands as of 2007. As of 2013, the below brands are scheduled to be slowly phased out and replaced by an all-encompassing new brand name—And—whose logo combines an exclamation point, the Chinese character for "peace" (Chinese: 和, Hanyu Pinyin: Hé), as well as the English word "and".
(Chinese: 神州行, Hanyu Pinyin: Shénzhōuxíng Rough translation: "Travel across China" (lit. "travel the holy states")): a basic prepaid mobile phone service more heavily marketed in rural areas
(Chinese: 全球通, Hanyu Pinyin: Quánqiútōng Rough translation: "Global Connect"): subscription flagship brand
(Chinese: 动感地带, Hanyu Pinyin: Dònggǎndìdài Rough translation: "Dynamic Area"): a premium prepaid service popular with youths
A 3G service brand (likely introduced post-2007)
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.
The company was the main sponsor of China's national basketball team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.