CHINA: DRAFT VERSION OF THE REGULATION ON THE OPENING OF THE TELECOMMUNICATION MARKET
Chinese authorities have completed a new draft version of the Regulation governing the opening of the telecommunication market to new operators. They will be allowed to manage virtual networks and provide services connected with them via the infrastructure supplied by the three big Chinese Telecom operators, namely: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
The information was disclosed by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which has made it known that Chinese State-owned corporations and private companies, as well as foreign groups, will be eligible to participate in tenders for the assignment of licences. The Ministry also pointed out that there should not be a set number of licences up for assignment.
The Draft Regulation follows a four-year experimentation period during which the first virtual network pilot projects were launched in 29 communities with the participation of 42 businesses. The projects can boast over 60 million subscribers accounting for approx. 4.1% of the total population of China's mobile users. The industry has attracted FDI with a value of 500 million U.S. dollars, generating nearly 60,000 new jobs. The Chinese Authorities believe this measure will give new momentum to a very large sector, which so far has been dominated by few giant operators. It has attracted new investment and boosted competition.