Aug. 15, 2013, 4:27 AM
- China's suddenly vigorous enthusiasm for investigations into corporate behavior could strengthen further, with the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) reported to be considering probes into the petroleum, telecommunications and banking sectors.
- The idea is to scrutinize industries that affect the lives of ordinary Chinese. However, the sectors mentioned are dominated by state-run companies, such as China Unicom (CHU), China Mobile (CHL) and China Telecom (CHA) in the communications industry, while it's the government that sets the price of oil.
- The healthcare sector is already under well-publicized scrutiny, while the NDRC has also asked for information about the prices of foreign cars.
Aug. 8, 2013, 2:58 PM
- China Unicom (CHU +6.5%), China's second-largest mobile carrier, is trading up after releasing H1 results.
- The carrier's H1 numbers impressed, with revenue of 144.31B yuan up 19% Y/Y and earnings of 5.32B yuan (3.43B yuan a year ago) surpassing a consensus of 4.89B yuan.
- Profitability continues to rise as the first carrier to adopt the iPhone in China reaps the rewards of out-sized subscription and data revenue growth.
- 3G ARPU fell to 77.6 yuan (from 91.8 yuan a year ago), as CHU reeled in less wealthy 3G subs via low-cost smartphones.
- Shares were temporarily halted in afternoon Hong Kong trading after results were accidentally pre-released on a government website.
- Rivals China Mobile (CHL +1.5%) and China Telecom (CHA +2.1%) are up in sympathy.
Jul. 30, 2013, 11:39 AM
- Developer Hamza Sood has uncovered code that appears to confirm rumors the iPhone 5S' (AAPL +1.8%) home button will have a built-in fingerprint sensor.
- Tim Cook reportedly traveled to China this week to meet with China Telecom's (CHA +0.3%) leadership. No details on what was discussed; chances are CHA will be a major buyer of the low-cost iPhone.
- In a "final office action," the USPTO has rejected 21 claims within Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent. Look for Apple to appeal the ruling. In June, the USPTO reaffirmed the validity of a claim in Apple's "rubber-banding" patent after previously invalidating it.
- Leaked photo cases and a BI source indicate the low-cost iPhone will be called the iPhone 5C. "C" is meant to stand for "color," though as BI notes, critics could refer to it as standing for "cheap."
- Sprint sold 1.4M iPhones in Q2, down from 1.5M in Q1 and a year ago. For reference, Verizon sold 3.9M iPhones in Q2, and AT&T at least 3.7M.
- The iPhone's U.S. customer loyalty remains strong. A CIRP survey found 78% of U.S. iPhone owners upgrading to a new iPhone vs. 67% of Android owners buying a new Android phone.
Jul. 15, 2013, 2:34 PM
Chinese Internet stocks are turning in a good day after the government unveils a new telecom plan promising to increase fiber-to-the-home deployments, improving 3G connectivity, and issue 4G licenses by year's end. YOKU +6.2%. BIDU +4.7%. QIHU +4.8%. DANG +4.9%. YY +9.2%. CYOU +5.2%. China's telecom giants aren't moving much: CHL +0.3%. CHA -0.4%. CHU +1%. (more on China/4G)| Jul. 15, 2013, 2:34 PM
Jul. 5, 2013, 1:01 PM
China Telecom (CHA -0.6%) doesn't want China Mobile (CHL +0.1%) to have a huge head-start in offering 4G: the #3 Chinese carrier plans to build a pre-commercial 4G network covering 31 provinces by year's end, and will issue an equipment tender in Q4. The timing of a commercial launch still depends on when government licenses (expected early next year) are issued. CHL has said it plans to spend $6.75B in 2013 on its 4G network, but some are wondering where the orders are. CHL's network is based on the TDD LTE standard; China Telecom and Unicom (CHA -0.6%) want to use the FDD standard (more popular overseas), at least outside of densely-populated areas. ERIC, ALU, and NOK stand to benefit from rising Chinese 4G orders.| Jul. 5, 2013, 1:01 PM
May 20, 2013, 2:03 PM
Apple (AAPL +1.9%) roundup: 1) Brian White cites Chinese 3G growth as a reason for his $888 PT: he points out China's 3G sub base rose 83% Y/Y in April to 293.1M, and is expected to hit 375M-400M by year's end. China Mobile (CHL - previous) had 120M 3G subs; China Unicom (CHU) had 92M, and China Telecom (CHA) 81M. 2) Taiwan's Economic Times reports Apple is testing 1.5" OLED displays for an iWatch, and that "market rumors" indicate Foxconn has received iWatch trial production orders. 3) Digitimes reports MacBook orders are expected to grow 20% Q/Q in Q2, as Apple launches new systems sporting Intel Haswell CPUs at June's WWDC conference.| May 20, 2013, 2:03 PM | 17 Comments
May 8, 2013, 12:40 PMThe Chinese government is expected to issue 4G TD-LTE licenses by year's end, writes Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty in a bullish note on Apple (AAPL +1.2%). The licenses could pave the way for China Mobile (CHL), which has 700M+ subs and is spending $6.75B this year on its TD-LTE network (still in trial mode), to begin selling the iPhone. One potential roadblock: China Unicom (CHU) and China Telecom (CHA) want the government to take its time in issuing TD-LTE licenses. CHA wants to delay its 4G capex, and both carriers are supporting the FDD-LTE standard (far more popular outside of China). (AAPL/CHL agreement) | May 8, 2013, 12:40 PM | 6 Comments
May 7, 2013, 1:37 PM
Sina (SINA -2.5%) gives back yesterday's gains after Tencent (TCEHY.PK) says it has reached "preliminary solutions" with Chinese mobile carriers (CHL, CHU, CHA) regarding its very popular WeChat mobile IM platform, which both generates heavy traffic and eats into text-messaging revenue (China Mobile's text revenue fell 4.8% last year). That's likely raising fears Sina might have to pay carriers for the traffic produced by Weibo, arguably WeChat's top rival. Tencent has said it's unlikely to charge WeChat users.| May 7, 2013, 1:37 PM
Apr. 8, 2013, 12:33 PM
After a Chinese government official suggested Tencent (TCEHY.PK) will "have to pay fees" to mobile carriers (CHA, CHL, CHU) for the use of its extremely popular WeChat mobile IM/social networking platform, Tencent tells its users it's unlikely to charge for WeChat. Much like their European peers, Chinese carriers have seen their text messaging revenue pressured by the adoption on Web-based services such as WeChat. Sina (SINA) recently admitted WeChat, which now has 300M+ registered accounts, has been affecting Weibo usage.| Apr. 8, 2013, 12:33 PM
Mar. 20, 2013, 2:59 AMChina Telecom (CHA): Q4 net profit -17% to 2.36B yuan ($380M) vs consensus of 2.04B yuan. Revenues +17% to 73.1B yuan vs 73.2B yuan, with wireless data sales boosted by iPhone use. ARPU 53.9 yuan, stronger than expected. Mobile subscribers +8M to 160.6M. To boost capex 40% this year to 75B yuan. (PR) | Mar. 20, 2013, 2:59 AM
Mar. 6, 2013, 6:31 PMAfter expanding the reach of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network by 33M households in 2012, China Telecom (CHA) wants to expand it by another 25M in 2013. Rival China Unicom (CHU) is also aggressive: it brought its FTTH network to 15.2M new households last year, and wants to add 10M this year. CHA and CHU respectively added 15.7M and 8.2M broadband subs in 2012, and hope to add 15M and 9M in 2013. With China now sporting over 1.1B mobile subs, CHA and CHU are increasingly counting on broadband and 3G data services to drive growth. | Mar. 6, 2013, 6:31 PM
Mar. 6, 2013, 4:56 AMChina plans to issue 4G network licenses by the end of 2013, Industry & Information Technology Minister Miao Wei has said. "China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use," Miao said. China Mobile (CHL) has already begun 4G trials in several Chinese cities. | Mar. 6, 2013, 4:56 AM | 3 Comments
Jan. 9, 2013, 1:39 PM
The Chinese government is thinking of opening the country's mobile market up to virtual carriers (MVNOs) who would offer services based on capacity leased from incumbents China Mobile (CHL), China Unicom (CHU), and China Telecom (CHA). Such a policy change could open up a lucrative new revenue stream for the incumbents and perhaps (thanks to new pricing models) stoke 3G/data services adoption, but also carries the risk of increasing price competition.| Jan. 9, 2013, 1:39 PM | 2 Comments
Dec. 28, 2012, 1:24 PMChina's telecom ministry says it will "earnestly complete the preparatory work for [4G] LTE frequency distribution and license-granting" in 2013. Does that mean 4G licenses will be issued at least on the early side of the 2014-2015 timeframe government officials have suggested? China Mobile (CHL), which is building a huge 4G trial network, must hope so. So must base station supplier Alcatel-Lucent and 4G baseband chipmakers Qualcomm and Sequans. | Dec. 28, 2012, 1:24 PM
Dec. 16, 2012, 9:23 PM
Over 2M iPhone 5 units have been sold thus far in China, Apple (AAPL) boasts. China Unicom's (CHU) healthy pre-order activity probably had a lot to do with this figure. Sparse crowds for the Friday launch stoked fears initial sales were light, but weather and pre-ordering requirements seem to have played a role. For reference, Apple announced in September over 5M iPhone 5 units had been sold 3 days after the device went on sale in the U.S., Japan, and 7 other locales. (PR)| Dec. 16, 2012, 9:23 PM | 56 Comments
Dec. 6, 2012, 2:52 PM
More on Apple: 1) China Mobile's (CHL) CEO suggests his company's lack of an iPhone deal has to do with deal terms rather than its TD-SCDMA 3G network. 2) IDC claims Apple's Chinese smartphone rank fell to #6 in Q3. Samsung was first, followed by fast-growing local Android OEMs Lenovo and Coolpad. The iPhone 5 launches in China on Dec. 14. 3) As Tim Cook declares some iMacs are being made in the U.S., Foxconn says it will expand its North American production.| Dec. 6, 2012, 2:52 PM | 10 Comments