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|Wednesday, September 13, 2000, updated at 16:29(GMT+8)|
China Unicom and Hutchison Telecom Set up a Joint CompanyChina Unicom, the country's second largest mobile communications operator, has set up a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampon Limited.
The new partnership will focus on telecom consultancy and marketing services in China, according to a senior official from the company.
Liu Yunjie, chief technology officer with the firm, confirmed the establishment of a joint venture, to be called Beijing Tonghe Telecom Technologies Corp.
"The new company will initially provide great network opportunities for China Unicom," Liu said.
The joint venture, of which China Unicom has a 51 percent stake and Hutchison Telecom 49 percent, will also link up marketing and telecom employee training activities.
Liu said Beijing Tonghe will extend its services to the country's other telecom operators at a later date.
Industrial experts say the birth of the joint venture demonstrates China Unicom's ambition to spread its business across China.
The soaring expansion of the telecommunication network, including fixed-line and wireless communications, has resulted in a big demand for network improvements in China.
The co-operation with China Unicom also provides an opportunities for Hutchison Whampon to enter the Chinese mainland's telecom market.
Most of the world's telecom giants are seeking ways to penetrate China's telecom business before the world's most populous country enters the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"One step towards that goal means a better chance of getting involved in China's telecom market," said a telecom consultant.
China has pledged to open up its telecom service market after joining the WTO.
China Unicom, overcoming a host of unanticipated difficulties on its road to going public, was oversubscribed by three times when it initially issued shares, receiving nearly 5 billion US dollars in its June flotation.
With support from the government, China Unicom has become a major player in the country's telecom sector. The company provides a full service of fixed-line and mobile communications, including paging, IP phones and Internet access.
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