STAR Paging is slowing its investment in China despite its expectation of 30 to 50 per cent growth in the number of cellular stations and networks this year. Star Paging invested $70 million on the mainland last year, boosting its total investment to more than $100 million. This year it will invest $50 million. Star Paging's Alfred Shao said the reduced figure did not reflect lower profit margins in the mainland paging market. The slowdown, he said, was due to a more selective approach towards choosing locations and joint-venture partners. China accounted for seven per cent of Star's $100.3 million profit attributable to shareholders for the period to December 31, 1993. Mainland operations are expected to contribute up to 13 per cent of next year's profits. Mr Chiu said Star would not drop the price of its services to attract subscribers although about 90 per cent of its business comes from Hong Kong. Meanwhile, rival paging company, ABC Communications has announced a profit increase of 5.85 per cent for the year ended March 31. But before the inclusion of gains from associated companies, operating profit was down one per cent to $89.3 million from $90.18 million. Contributions from associated companies was attributed to its joint venture, GTP Telecom in Guandong, and its paging operation in the Philippines. Losses resulted from the group's Taiwan operations and its 15 per cent stake in Hong Kong SmarTone Mobile Communications. Higher costs and reduced pager prices arising from increased competition were given as reasons for smaller profits in Hong Kong business. It said the real growth areas were in new and growing joint-venture operations in cellular services, and in overseas paging markets. ABC cross-border paging services in China had expanded significantly, with GTP extending its roaming services to Shanghai.