China's mobile carriers continued to see weak subscriber growth last month, with second-ranked China Unicom signing up 8.1 per cent fewer users than in July. China Unicom added 1.58 million new mobile users to its two networks - GSM and CDMA - last month, representing a month-on-month growth rate of 1.6 per cent, its slowest growth in the past year. It signed up 1.72 million new users in July and averaged 1.78 million a month for the first eight months of the year. At the end of last month, it had 80.68 million GSM users and 25.13 million CDMA users in the 30 provinces it operates in. China Unicom had hoped new Ministry of Information control measures designed to curb price wars would help it attract subscribers by stopping rival China Mobile from undercutting its prices. China Mobile signed up 4.9 per cent more new users last month than it did in July, although its growth fell short of its monthly average for the year. China Mobile said it added 3.03 million new users in the 31 provinces in which it operates, more than the 2.88 million new users it signed up in July but short of the monthly average of 3.16 million for the first eight months of the year. At the end of last month, China Mobile had 191.37 million phone users, having added 25.26 million new users this year. The 10 networks that it acquired from its parent on July 1 contributed 27.41 million users. The 10 new networks added a mere 307,000 new users last month, representing a 1.1 per cent month-on-month growth rate. The growth rate in the new provinces, mainly poorer, less-developed areas in western China, was far slower than the 1.7 per cent month-on-month growth rate achieved by the original 21 provinces. Macquarie Research raised concerns that the expansion may slow growth. 'Since it is early days in the integration, we are hesitant to conclude that growth in the new networks is structurally slower, though the 'affordability' flag has been raised,' it said in a report.