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MIIT Official: China's 3G User Base Just 80 Mln

CCID, 6/01/12

Wei Leping, deputy standing director of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's (MIIT) Communications Science & Technology Commission, said at the 2012 Broadband Communications and M2M Summit in Beijing this morning that Chinese 3G subscriber figures had been inflated, estimating that the true number was only half of what the MIIT has reported. The latest figures from the MIIT show 158 mln 3G subscribers in China as of the end of April, making the true number only around 80 mln by Wei's count.

In his remarks, Wei stated that China Unicom's (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) figures, based on 3G plan subscriptions, were "relatively trustworthy," but that China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) figures were based mainly on 3G terminal sales, including sales of TD-SCDMA wireless wireline phones, which offer only the most basic voice calling and text messaging features as opposed to true 3G functionality.

Editor's Note: Wei Leping also serves as chairman of China Telecom's (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) Science & Technology Committee.

Keywords: national statistics Wei Leping wireless wireless wireline MIIT 3G mobile subscribers

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