CHAMPION Technology Holdings plans to participate more directly in China's telecommunications sector, and says it is ready to benefit from the country's further deregulation of the industry. Speaking after an annual general meeting yesterday, chairman Paul Kan Pan-lok said while the company fully understood the mainland telecom policies, it had not been involved in the operation of a cellular network in Sichuan province. The remarks referred to reports in April that the company had set up a joint venture with US-based Hughes Network to provide digital cellular service in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Mr Kan claimed the joint-venture would provide China with equipment for a cellular radio system which could be installed rapidly. But he said the company was prepared to enter the operations sector when Chinese regulations permitted. Champion has a joint venture with Beijing Ji Tong Communications to develop, manufacture and sell communication and information products in China. According to Mr Kan, Beijing Ji Tong is one of the only two mainland companies approved by the State Council to operate telecommunication services in China, besides the Posts and Telecommunications Bureau. Although the present rules do not allow foreigners to operate any telecom services, Mr Kan was confident of further deregulation on the mainland.