Taiwan Mobile in talks with Chinese operators - Mobile World Live

Taiwan Mobile in talks with Chinese operators

20 OCT 2009

Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan’s second-largest mobile operator, is in negotiations regarding a tie-up with one of China’s mobile operators in the latest instalment of increasing cooperation between the two countries’ mobile sectors. “We’ve held talks with the other two operators,” said Rosie Yu, vice-president for finance at Taiwan Mobile, in an interview with Reuters, in reference to China Unicom and China Telecom, China’s second- and third-largest mobile operators, respectively. “More talks are needed because we still need to know each other better, and it’ll not be limited to a stake sale, and will include talks on areas to see where we can cooperate further.” But Yu said there was still no clear model on how future cooperation with a Chinese operator would work. “It’s not clear what shape such cooperation will take, so that’s something we’ve both got to look at,” she said. “Why would any business allow you to go into their market and allow you to compete with them?”

A deal between Taiwan Mobile and one of the tier-two Chinese mobile operators would mirror Chinese market-leader China Mobile’s ongoing efforts to buy a 12 percent stake in Taiwan Mobile rival, Far EasTone, the Island’s third-largest mobile operator. The deal is currently blocked due to Taiwanese regulations that forbid Chinese investors from holding a stake in its telecoms firms. However, both sides hope that the restrictions will soon be lifted amid signs of increasing economic cooperation between the two nations. Last week, China Mobile’s chairman, Wang Jianzhou, conducted a high-profile tour of Taiwan and announced partnerships with a number of local Taiwanese firms, including a large 3G handset deal with HTC and an e-book deal with Foxconn.

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