China Mobile buys stake in Anhui USTC for $214m
Updated: 2012-08-24 16:15
By Shen Jingting (chinadaily.com.cn)
File photo of a China Mobile shop in Shanghai. [Yan Daming/Asianewsphoto]
China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest mobile operator by number of subscribers, said late Thursday that it agreed to buy a 15 percent stake in Anhui USTC iFlytek Co Ltd for 1.36 billion yuan ($213.98 million).
Founded in 1999, Anhui USTC is a maker of software that converts text into voice and mediates communication between people and machines. The Shenzhen-listed company develops R&D projects for voice applications, China Mobile said.
The deal will be completed before June 30, 2013, but is still waiting for approval from Chinese authorities.
The companies have also agreed to enter into a strategic partnership agreement to cooperate on applications and products.
Cloud-based voice recognition services are expected to become a popular application for people surfing the mobile Internet, the statement said.
"It is of great strategic significance for China Mobile to build a unified voice portal and to improve user experience through intelligent voice technologies," it added.
The deal will also allow China Mobile to place one non-independent director in Anhui USTC's strategic committee and to make recommendations on strategy development and investment decisions.
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