China approves pilot to open mobile telecoms market, boost competition
SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China has approved a pilot scheme allowing private companies to piggy back on the country's three dominant telecommunications providers to offer own-brand mobile services, opening the world's largest mobile phone market to increased competition.
Authorities have approved 11 private "virtual carriers" to resell mobile telecommunications services, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
The pilot opens up the market for privately run companies to offer discounts or more attractive deals, raising competition in a market dominated by state-owned enterprises China Mobile Ltd , China Telecom Corp Ltd and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd.
"It's a milestone. It will draw private investment, and stimulate competition and innovation in the telecoms sector... giving a wide range of consumers greater choice and better service," the ministry said in the statement.