JD.com and Baidu, two of China’s largest internet companies, will join firms like Tencent to invest a total of CNY85 billion ($12.6 billion) into state-owned mobile carrier China Unicom, according to Reuters, as the government tries to revive state-run enterprises.
Last month it was reported the second largest mobile operator in the mainland would get around CNY70 billion in funding, led by Alibaba and Tencent, as part of the country’s mixed-ownership reform efforts.
The range of investors mooted included other major internet firms in China and some state-backed institutions such as China Life Investment.
At the time it was thought Baidu had pulled out, but new reports say it will invest about CNY10 billion, while CNY5 billion will come from JD.com.
None of the parties have made any official comments.
China Unicom announced in early April its parent company was reviewing its ownership structure in a move which could see it take on private investment.
The government is eager to encourage private investment to improve the country’s telecoms infrastructure and fuel competition in the sector by reducing state ownership – but not control.