China Telecom ready to take on the world

Updated: 2014-02-21 07:18

By Shen Jingting (China Daily USA)

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Nation's mobile carrier seeking to expand to information services

China Telecom Corp Ltd, the largest fixed-line service and the third-biggest mobile network operator in China, aims to become a world leader in integrated information services by 2016.

As an increasing number of Chinese enterprises expand overseas, China Telecom hopes to play an active role in supporting them with seamless global information services, Deng Xiaofeng, chief executive officer of China Telecom Global Ltd, told a news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Hong Kong-based China Telecom Global Ltd was established in 2012 and is solely responsible for China Telecom's global business operations. It has about 700 staff around the world,

Deng said his company's sales have grown 20 percent annually in recent years, about double the industry average.

"We will launch cloud-based services across the globe, covering major world cities, including London, Frankfurt and Sydney, this year," Deng said.

The cloud service will mainly focus on Chinese companies that plan to go global. For example, when Chinese Internet companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expand overseas, they will require robust IT and telecom support, he pointed out.

China Telecom will provide Chinese enterprises with comprehensive communications information solution packages, including international voice services, local Internet access and long-distance, high-quality videoconferences.

To provide those services, China Telecom will cooperate with global telecom operators. The company has formed alliances with more than 200 major telecom carriers in different countries, including AT&T Inc in the United States and Orange SA in France.

"Only if we keep stretching our capabilities and accumulating resources can we truly cooperate and compete with world-class telecom carriers on a level playing field," said Deng.

China Telecom first tested the waters of the global market in 2002, when it set up a subsidiary in the US.

The company integrated its businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas and Europe by forming China Telecom Global Ltd two years ago.

China Telecom has seen its overseas business develop rapidly. The company now owns the world's largest optical fiber network consisting of more than 30 underwater and land-based cables.

It has established more than 40 network points of presence in 28 countries to achieve a seamless global connection.

Compared with some leading global telecom carriers, such as BT Group Plc and Orange, Deng admitted that China Telecom still lags in terms of resources, global operating experience and service quality.

"But we are catching up", he said.

Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom's chairman, said in an earlier interview with China Daily that China Telecom will also aggressively pursue overseas mergers and acquisitions.

"It's definite that China Telecom will conduct M&As globally, and we're grooming our talent to be better-prepared," Wang said.

Huang Yufan contributed to this story.

China Telecom ready to take on the world

A customer makes a call in the business hall of China Telecom in Linyi city, Shandong province, last April.. Fang Dehua / for China Daily

China Telecom ready to take on the world

China Telecom promotes new cellphone service in Yichang, Hubei. Liu Junfeng / for China Daily

China Telecom ready to take on the world

(China Daily USA 02/21/2014 page19)