China Unicom chair and CEO Chen Zhongyue targeted stable operating revenue gains and double-digit profit growth in 2024, with network investment peaking last year as its 5G coverage goal was nearly reached.

Full-year capex is forecast to decline about 12 per cent year-on-year to CNY65 billion ($9 billion).

For full-year 2023, net profit grew 11.8 per cent to CNY18.7 billion. Operating revenue increased 5 per cent to CNY372.6 billion, while service revenue was up by the same amount to CNY335.2 billion.

The operator added nearly 48 million 5G package subscribers to end 2023 with 263.9 billion, representing 79 per cent of its total mobile user base of 333 million.

Private 5G networks deployments more than doubled from a year earlier to 9,185; IoT connections increased 27.9 per cent to 505.7 million.

Unicom Cloud sales grew 41.6 per cent to CNY51 billion and capex was stable at CNY73.9 billion.

The company added 220,000 mid-band 5G base stations, taking the total to 1.2 million. It also operates 680,000 900MHz sites, with the number of shared LTE sites exceeding 2 million.