As the world awaits Chinese telecom industry restructuring and the government's issuance of 3G licenses wireless operators China Mobile (ticker: CHL) and China Unicom (ticker: CHU) appear to be headed in different directions. Take a look at both August subscriber numbers and the companies' recent stock price performances:
- China Mobile (ticker: CHL) added 3.65 million mobile users in August marking its largest monthly gain in 2 years. It bested its previous two-year monthly high set in July. China Mobile now has 231.01 million subscribers including 60.847 million contract subscribers and 170.158 million prepaid users.
- China Unicom (ticker: CHU) added 1.2 million subscribers in August representing its lowest monthly net additions in more than 2 years. August additions included 861,000 new GSM subs and 337,000 new CDMA subs. Total subs at the end of August consisted of 91.33 million GSM users and 31.66 million CDMA users.
- China Mobile (ticker: CHL) denied reports it offered to acquire India's GSM mobile network operator Reliance Telecom. Reliance provides GSM services to 1.5 million users representing approximately 3% of India's mobile market. There are also reports that China Mobile is interested in acquiring state-owned Uzbekistan Telecom. You may remember that China Mobile failed in its bid to acquire a stake in Pakistan Telecom earlier this year.
CHL and CHU chart.