China Unicom

Rivals fined over fierce competition

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2002, 12:00am


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Rival mobile phone service operators China Unicom and China Mobile have been fined by the mainland telecommunications regulator amid fierce competition in Jiangxi province.

China Unicom subsidiaries in Jiangxi were found to have launched discounted promotional packages for Unicom's code division multiple access (CDMA) network without prior approval of the regulator, the official newspaper of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, China Mobile's Jiangxi subsidiary hit back by blocking interconnections to its rival, according to the report.

The telecoms regulator said it had found 18 cases of wrongdoing by the carriers in Jiangxi.

The two companies were fined a total of 860,000 yuan (about HK$806,078), the report said.

The regulator said it imposed its highest penalty yet in Jiangxi after seeing intensifying unregulated price competition between China Unicom and China Mobile since the launch of CDMA services at the beginning of the year.

A China Mobile (HK) spokesman said it reminded its Jiangxi subsidiary that it should co-operate in interconnections to ensure consumers' best interests.

The improper actions by the two carriers uncovered in Jiangxi were the tip of the iceberg, and the fines were unlikely to stop them from breaking the rules as they were under pressure to attract users, an analyst said.