State-owned China Unicom revealed its chairman and CEO Liu Liehong (pictured) stepped down, taking up the position of head of a newly-created government National Data Bureau with no replacement named.

Liu was appointed chief in August 2021, and was also an executive director and a member of the nomination committee.

Before joining the operator, he served as vice-Minister of Industry and Information Technology in 2020 and 2021 and was deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration from July 2018 to June 2020.

China Daily reported the country detailed plans for the national bureau in March, seeking to advance the development of data-related institutions and push the planning and development of national digital ambitions,

The operator’s 5G package subscribers increased 80 per cent to 232.4 million between Liu’s appointment and end-July.

GSMA Intelligence estimates place China Unicom as the nation’s third-largest by mobile connections on 320 million at end-July.