China Unicom, Telefónica grow closer

Mobile operators buy each other's shares as they seek to become more competitive

Telecom giants China Unicom and Telefónica have agreed to invest more in each other while raising their joint competitiveness in purchasing, roaming and service to multinationals, the Chinese carrier said in a statement.

Each company will buy US$500 million worth of shares in the other, meaning China Unicom will increase its interest in Telefonica to 1.37 percent while the Spanish firm will see its Unicom stake rise to about 9.7 percent based on current share prices, the statement said.

The agreement signed on Sunday by the two chairmen, Chang Xiaobing of China Unicom and Cesar Alierta of Telefonica, also better positions the companies to pair up in developing mobile service platforms and any new technology.

They also stand to get a stronger foothold in each other's geographic markets.

"It's a strengthening of the corporations," said Duncan Clark, chairman of the Beijing-based consultancy BDA China. "It's symbolic that that China Unicom wants to expand in Europe and Latin America. Telefonica is topping up in China."

Both firms have indicated they would deploy passive optical network technology, which increases downstream and upstream broadband capacity.

China Unicom's well-oiled WCDMA mobile network in China could become an asset for both, Clark said.

The Spanish firm, with more than 280 million customers in 25 countries, will propose to its board that it add a member from China Unicom, the statement said. A Telefonica representative already sits on the board of China Unicom, which is China's No. 2 mobile carrier with 167 million customers.

The two firms have a history of cooperation from 2008. That year Telefónica took its first stake in China Unicom, and in 2009 the two companies invested $1 billion in each other, giving the Chinese firm its first stake in the Spanish carrier.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobiletelecommunicationChina UnicomCarriersTelefónicaChang XiaobingCesar Alierta

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?