Mobile phone industry in the People's Republic of China

Mobile phone industry in the People's Republic of China
3G TD-SCDMA mobile phones on display at a China Mobile's branch (Photo taken in February, 2010, in Dalian, China
Foreign companies' cell phones, such as Motorola RAZR and its various models (GSM), are popular in China.
Nokia's mobile phones, such as Nokia E71(GSM & W-CDMA), are popular among the business users.
Apple's iPhone for W-CDMA is also gaining popularity.

China's mobile phone industry or cell phone industry has high growth rate, raising its share on the global mobile phone market. During 2007, 600 million mobile phones were made in China which accounted for over 50% of the global production.[citation needed]



  • In 1995, wireless telephone communication in the modern sense started by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China, using GSM technology. A nation-wide network was completed in the following year.[1]
  • In 2000, the fixed telephone company (China Telecom) and two cell phone telephone companies (China Mobile and China Unicom) were spun off from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
  • In 2002, the fixed telephone company was split into two: China Netcom for North China and China Telecom for South China
  • Until 2008, China's cell phone service was provided by the three companies:
  • In 2008, another reorganization of the telecommunications industry was made a year before the Third generation (3G) service was granted.

Mobile phone service providers

After the 2008 reorganization of China's telecommunication industry, there are now three cell phone service providers.

China Mobile

China Mobile (Chinese: 中国移动) continues the old China Mobile's GSM service, absorbed China Railway Communication, and began 3G service using TD-SCDMA, China's own technology.

China Unicom

China Unicom (Chinese: 中国联通) continues the old China Unicom's GSM service, absorbed the old China Netcom's network of fixed telephones in the north of the Yangtze River in China, and started 3G service using W-CDMA technology.

China Telecom

China Telecom (Chinese: 中国电信) continues PHS service of the old China Netcom and China Telecom, continues the old China Telecom's network of fixed telephones in the south of the Yangtze River, and began 3G service using CDMA2000 technology.

Mobile phone industry

Wireless communication is regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The mobile phone industry in China has grown to become a large industry, including research of new technology, manufacturing of cell phones and building of telephone networks, participated by not only the domestic companies but also the foreign companies, such as:

Huawei Technologies is expected to surpass Nokia-Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent to become the second largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, after Ericsson, in 2009.

ZTE and China Mobile have done turnkey mobile phone network projects in Pakistan, Ethiopia, etc.

Mobile phones

Mobile phone manufacturers

Domestics sales

The domestic sales of cell phone made a breakthrough of 100 million in China in 2006.

In 2007, the domestic sales of cell phone in china were 190 million, increased by 74% as compared with 2007. The impetus mainly came from the rapid growth of new mobile phone users and old customers' upgrading demands. Of 190 million cell phones, 140 million were made through formal channels, while the rest were made through informal channels such as smuggling, counterfeiting and renovating.

Sales volume

For year of 2007, sales volume had reached about 23 billion USD, increased by 17% as compared with 2006. The drop of cell phones' average price made the increment of sales volume lower than the increment of sales because mobile communication company vigorously promoted the sales of cell phones binding to their service which have lower price.

Export volume

The export volume of China's cell phones added up to a record high of 385 million in 2006, increased by 69.3% as compared with 2005. In 2007, this figure reached 483 million, increased by 125.45% as compared with 2006. As far as 2006, the export volume had reached 31.214 billion USD, increased by 52.47% as compared with 2005. The export volume of 2007 was 35.6 billion dollars, increased by 114.01% as compared with 2006.

Development trend

The latest 2–3 years' development trend (2005–2008) has showed that the mainland market is developing in two directions, one of which is the extremely low price cell phones in emerging rural market; the other is multimedia cell phones with diverse functions such as mobile television, MP3 and GPS.


China's cell phone market is dominated by products with price under 2000 RMB yuan (about 290 dollars). Products at this price have accounted for 60% of the whole cell phone market, competing with China's local brands, informal cell phones and international brands.

Some features of China's mobile phone

  • All cell phone service must be prepaid. Pre-payment can be made by buying a card (50 or 100 yuan) and calling the cell phone company, or through commercial banks. When out of town, pre-payment is not easy, usually solved by calling a friend in your own town to add money.
  • There is a clear distinction of cell phone and cell phone service in China, unlike some countryies such as Japan where the cell phone is sold by and locked to the cell phone service companies. This tradition was broken by the 2009 introduction of Apple Inc.'s iPhone introduction.
  • Stealing of cell phones and therefore SIM cards is quite common. When a cell phone is stolen, the owner must visit the cell phone service company to cancel the previous card, at the same time retaining the previous phone number and pre-payment.
  • A short message (SMS) or duanxin (Chinese: 短信), usually 0.10 yuan per message (up to 160 alphabetic or 70 Chinese characters), can be sent to any other cell phones across different cell phone service companies, GSM, CDMA or PHS.
  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) or caixin (Chinese: 彩信) is also available, usually 0.3 yuan per message (up to 50 kilobytes).
  • Calling (Chinese: 彩铃), usually 5 yuan per month, is an additional service by which the called party can send as the ring tone to the calling party the music (or any kind of sound) that the called party likes . Usually detested by foreigners, but loved by the Chinese young.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Industry of the People's Republic of China — Industry produced 53.7 percent of the People s Republic of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005. Industry (including mining, manufacturing, construction, and power) contributed 46.8 percent of GDP in 2010 and occupied 27 percent of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Automotive industry in the People's Republic of China — Chang an Avenue in Beijing. Since late 2008, the People s Republic of China has been the largest automotive market in the world.[1][2] …   Wikipedia

  • Electronics industry in the People's Republic of China — The electronic information industry in China grew rapidly after the liberalization of the economy under the national strategic policy of accelerating the informatization of its industrial development.[1] In 2005, China s electronic information… …   Wikipedia

  • Pharmaceutical industry in the People's Republic of China — The pharmaceutical industry is one of the leading industries in People s Republic of China, covering synthetic chemicals and drugs, prepared Chinese medicines, medical devices, apparatus and instruments, hygiene materials, packing materials, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Biotechnology industry in the People's Republic of China — The People s Republic of China has seen double digit growth in its biotechnology industry and has gone from being one of the slowest to one of the fastest nations in the adoption of new biotechnologies. The biotech sector is seen in China and… …   Wikipedia

  • Publishing industry in the People's Republic of China — The Chinese publishing industry has continued to grow. In 2004 China published 25.77 billion copies of national level and provincial level newspapers, 2.69 billion magazines, and 6.44 billion books. Contents 1 Overview 2 Books and Periodicals 3… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications industry in the People's Republic of China — This article discusses the telecommunications industry in mainland China. For Hong Kong and Macau, see Communications in Hong Kong and Communications in Macau. The telecommunications industry in China is dominated by three state run businesses:… …   Wikipedia

  • Shipping industry of the People's Republic of China — A COSCO container ship sails from Boston Harbor. In 1961 the People s Republic of China established a state run maritime shipping company and subsequently signed shipping agreements with many countries, laying the foundation for developing the… …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile phone industry in the United States — Motorola RAZR. Nokia E71 …   Wikipedia

  • Five-year plans of the People's Republic of China — The five year plans of People s Republic of China (PRC) (simplified Chinese: 中国五年计划; traditional Chinese: 中國五年計劃; pinyin: Zhōngguó Wǔnián Jìhuà) are a series of economic development initiatives. The economy was shaped by the Communist Party of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.