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Distributors connect with China Mobile

2013-12-18 10:24:12| Source:


China Mobile\'s 4G booth at a trade show last month in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. The company started offering customers the first batch of 4G smartphones in Beijing in November. [Photo / Provided to China Daily]

China Mobile Ltd, the nation\'s biggest telecom operator by users, signed strategic agreements with 10 mobile phone distributors on Tuesday, aiming to gain an upper hand in selling fourth-generation handsets in the domestic market.

The 10 distributors include national home appliance chain stores Suning Appliance Co Ltd and Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd, as well as prominent Chinese e-commerce websites such as

China Mobile has been cooperating with seven of those 10 distributors since 2012.

Lenovo Group, Xiaomi Corp and are the three new partners. They will all work with China Mobile beginning next year.

The telecom carrier estimated that the total number of handsets sold through the distribution networks of the seven initial partners will reach 35 million in 2013.

"Through partnerships with terminal distributors, retail or chain stores and e-commerce companies, China Mobile will effectively enlarge its 3G and 4G handset sales," Lu Wenchang, deputy general manager of China Mobile\'s marketing department, told a news briefing in Guangzhou on Tuesday.

Chinese telecom operators received 4G Time Division-Long Term Evolution licenses from the government on Dec 4. China Mobile has been the most active among the three telecom carriers in offering 4G services, since it has been a laggard in the domestic 3G market.

The company started offering customers the first batch of 4G smartphones in Beijing last month, and it opened online preorders for a 4G star smartphone (possibly Apple Inc\'s iPhone 5S) last week.

Attracted by China Mobile\'s ability to bring in vast numbers of new customers, domestic and foreign mobile phone manufacturers have voiced their willingness to support China Mobile\'s 4G standard (TD-LTE), which is largely a domestic technology.

The most hotly discussed issue is whether Apple will eventually reach an agreement with China Mobile, allowing the latter to sell its iPhone handsets on contract.

Analysts believe that since China Mobile\'s Beijing branch is taking online preorders for the iPhone 5S, an alliance between the two companies is certain and will be announced soon.

China Mobile officials, who declined to be identified, said that despite media speculation, there wasn\'t any chance that the company would announce a partnership with Apple on Wednesday, when China Mobile\'s Global Partner Conference is scheduled.

Various Chinese mobile phone companies have launched smartphones on China Mobile\'s 4G network. They\'re planning to throw resources into TD-LTE smartphone production and target customers from entry-level buyers to high-end shoppers next year.

The Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment Co Ltd, which makes K-Touch mobile phones, said it will introduce five TD-LTE models in the first quarter of 2014. Prices will range from 799 yuan ($130) to 2,000 yuan.

Taiwan-based HTC Corp will introduce its flagship TD-LTE smartphone HTC One max on Wednesday, according to Zhang Jianwei, vice-president of HTC China.

Source: China Daily