Operator says lessons learnt in mainland will give it advantages overseas China Mobile (Hong Kong) will look to developing markets to further its overseas expansion following the acquisition of China Resources Peoples Telephone, according to chairman Wang Jianzhou. Describing Peoples' acquisition as only 'the first step', Mr Wang said yesterday the company would now focus on developing markets based on lessons it had learnt from expanding its mainland business. 'We understand the problems that developing markets face, especially poor coverage and infrastructure, because they are the same issues we faced until recently in China,' he said. 'Our sheer scale will be a competitive advantage as we expand into emerging markets in terms of procurement and purchasing power.' Mr Wang said future expansion would be carried out by parent company China Mobile Communications, in contrast to Peoples' acquisition by the Hong Kong-listed company. That transaction was completed on Wednesday with the full privatisation of Peoples and delisting of the company from the stock exchange. China Mobile expects the newly named China Mobile Peoples Telephone to achieve cost efficiency and service improvements through integration with China Mobile, with the parent's mainland customers benefiting from improved roaming services in Hong Kong. But the company has no plans to look at 3G services despite it being the only mobile operator in Hong Kong without a 3G network following the merger of Hong Kong CSL and New World Mobility. 'Our primary focus is on improving service quality and expanding network coverage in Hong Kong,' Mr Wang said. '[CM Peoples] will improve its business and services and achieve cost reduction by integrating the network and support systems and implementing a centralised procurement system [with China Mobile].' He said centralising procurement and network management in China Mobile's mainland operations - previously handled on a provincial basis - had cut expenditure about 20 per cent, but added it was too early to say how much could be saved from CM Peoples entering the same process. CM Peoples managing director Michael Leung Kai-hung said the firm had seen an improvement in subscriber numbers, average revenue per user and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation since the merger was announced in October last year. 'We now have greater purchasing power and can leverage China Mobile's scale, so we are in a strong position to improve,' he said.