China / Society

China Tower buys in to Big Three carriers

By Ma Si ( Updated: 2015-10-14 20:24

State-owned China Tower Corp is to acquire more than 230 billion yuan ($36.3 billion) in assets of China's Big Three telecom operators.

The Beijing-based company said on Wednesday it will pay for the assets from China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom with cash and shares.

Meanwhile, China Reform Holdings Corp, a government-backed investment firm, revealed it will buy a 6 percent stake in the venture, without disclosing more details.

China Tower was established to build telecom infrastructure for the Big Three carriers. It is designed to help reduce investment duplication.

After the deal, China Mobile will own a 38 percent stake in China Tower, China Unicom 28.1 percent, China Telecom, 27.9 percent and China Reform, 6 percent.

Freelance telecom expert Fu Liang said: "The entry of non-telecom capital will reduce the control of the Big Three over China Tower, turning it into a relatively independent company".

The deal also signifies China Tower's business will not be limited to the carrier sector. "It can seek opportunities in other industries," Fu said.

"But the company first needs to fully integrate the new assets and help telecom operators reduce costs. This is by no means an easy job".

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