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China Mobile already has 70 million 5G subscribers

The world’s biggest mobile operator has revealed its latest quarterly numbers and inevitably they’re all huge.

When you have nearly a billion subscribers it’s not hard to set records, but the fact that China Mobile has more 5G subscribers than the UK has people is still a remarkable statistic. On the other hand, its year-on-year financial progress was flat, as you can see below, which lent a slightly defensive tone to the earnings announcement, featuring lots of talk about what a great job was done under testing circumstances.

“Although COVID-19 has come under control in China, it has created serious repercussions for economic and social development,” said China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie. “Yet, we believe that crisis and opportunity always appear at the same time. The actions taken as a response to COVID-19 will catalyze and accelerate a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, that will further the digitalization of both the economy and society.

“So far in 2020, we have adhered to our development strategy of becoming a world class enterprise by building a dynamic ‘Powerhouse’, working hard to expand our business from communication services to information services and to shift our business focus from mobile market to the more encompassing CHBN four growth engines: the customer (C), home (H), business (B) and new (N) markets.

“We have also adopted a new development approach focusing on innovation-driven business transformation and upgrade instead of traditional growth drivers that rely on factors of resources. We attach great importance to customer interaction and trust, deepening our collaboration with all parties to achieve win-win situations within the industry and promoting long-term sustainable development of the company.”

So China Mobile’s big idea is to target the consumer, business and emerging markets – genius. The business transformation narrative is fairly generic too, but that doesn’t mean it’s not correct. Having said that, it’s hard to see how China Mobile could possibly fail with such a dominant position in the world’s largest market. The only person it ultimately needs to impress is Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and all this boilerplate corporate speak is presumably designed to do just that.

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