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China's telecom operators have advantages to explore Belt and Road markets

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-01 15:15

LONDON -- The regions along the Belt and Road are full of development opportunities, and telecommunications operators have unique advantages to explore the markets, Stephen Ho, chairman of the Communications Association of Hong Kong has said.

Inspired by the Belt and Road Initiative, more and more Chinese telecommunications operators are actively exploring local markets, enjoying prominent advantages in policy, technology and cost, Ho told Xinhua recently.

He said this during a ceremony where CITIC Telecom International CPC Limited (CITIC Telecom CPC) announced the new name of Netherlands-based Linx Telecommunications, which was purchased by CITIC Telecom CPC in February and renamed as CITIC Telecom CPC Europe.

Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Ho, who is also the CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC, said the Chinese government promotes opening to the outside world and supports enterprises to participate in overseas markets, which is a great support policy. In addition, for different markets, the Chinese government has some policy guidelines to help enterprises avoid risks.

China's current technology has been developed to a very high level, and many aspects have been in the forefront of the global technology. In particular, China is rich in science and technology talents now. For example, there are many outstanding talents working in cloud computing and deep learning, he said.

The chairman said China has late-developing advantage, without the cost of "replacement." There is a high cost to replace old technologies and equipment since the information industry is updated quickly. Absent of historical burdens, China faces a relatively low cost of technological upgrading and shows its advantage in global competition.

Ho said the development of information technology in some regions along the Belt and Road is still backward. But the local demand for information services is high, and some Central Asian countries are eager to enhance external cooperation to develop communications services, cloud computing and others in order to build and improve the local environment for network technology. Therefore, the Belt and Road has a greater development potential in this section.

However, the investment environment in different countries along the Belt and Road varies a lot. Different countries have different characteristics, advantages and risks, he said. Enterprises should understand every local market specifically and analyze different market opportunities to make an appropriate strategic adjustment.

Ho said that companies which want to enter the markets along the Belt and Road should try their best to dig up market information and enhance communication with different institutions so as to meet their development needs.

As to the above-mentioned acquisition, Ho said Linx Telecommunications has business operations in 14 countries of Central Asia and Europe. This is why CITIC Telecom CPC chose it. Through the acquisition, CITIC Telecom can get access to these markets.

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