Hong Kong telecommunications operators have expressed disappointment that the closer economic partnership arrangement (Cepa) will not allow them to take majority control of mainland joint ventures. Several industry representatives were informed that Cepa - the details of which are due to be announced today - would not allow them to take majority control of mainland joint ventures at the start of next year, but it said a further relaxation could be possible at an unspecified date. Hong Kong operators requested majority control rights from China last month to gain an edge over foreign rivals, who next year will be allowed a maximum 49 per cent stake in the value-added telecoms service sector under the terms of China's World Trade Organisation accession agreement. 'The government should fight to get us majority stakes - this is what we really want,' said Frankie Lai, a committee member of the Internet and Telecom Association of Hong Kong. 'Certain business areas are so bureaucratic and full of manual obstacles that management control is essential,' said David Vong, chief executive of 21CN.Net, which recently bought a value-added services company from Citic Beijing.