China's Fourth Telecom Operator Established, Alibaba as Second Largest Shareholder
With a registered capital of CNY 101.2 billion, the China Broadcasting Network International is now the fourth-largest Chinese telecom operator, following China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.
Having been long dominated by the three major telecom operators – China Mobile (CHL:NYSE, 00941:HK), China Unicom (CHU:NYSE, 00762:HK), and China Telecom (CHA:NYSE, 00728:HK), the Chinese telecom operator industry now has another player on the table, namely the China Broadcasting Network International. The company is partly state-backed and partly held by private companies such as Alibaba – that company's (BABA:NYSE, 09988:HK) investment arm, with equity percentage at 9.88% , constitutes the second-largest shareholder.
Before the company's official establishment, the China Radio and Broadcasting group has already received the 5G network operation license from China's Ministry of Information and Technology (MIIT) in late 2019. The entrance of radio and broadcasting company into the telecom operator realm is inevitable, as the TV programs are transitioning from the local radio signal delivered to Internet-based. After the China Broadcasting participating in the operator business, it can be expected that the TV network in China can be the same as the mobile phone network, which breaks the current geographic constrains.
The company will release SIM card numbers that start with '192' to the Chinese consumers soon. As part of the strategic agreement that the China Broadcasting reached with China Mobile, the users of the former, which currently only have the 5G network services provided, can also access the 4G network provided by China Mobile.