China Unicom Company Brief

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Company Brief
China Unicom

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00019000

Publication Date: 2006

Report Type: VENDOR


China Unicom is a top wireless services provider in China that delivers
services in 31 Chinese provinces and regions. The company’s
communications’ network is characterized by nationwide coverage and global
reach, and includes fixed and mobile communications services, domestic and
international communications facilities, satellite IPLC services, data
communications services, network access services, telecommunications
services, and system integration services. This brief provides some basic
information about China Unicom.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: China Unicom
21 Financial St.
Xicheng District, Beijing 100140, China
(8610) 10010
Fax: (8610) 66110009, 66429545
Type of Vendor: Telecommunications provider
Founded: 1994
Service Areas: Primarily China, Taiwan
Stock Symbol:


Faulkner Reports

Telecommunications in China
Market Trends


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The China United Network Communications Group (China Unicom’s parent
company) was established in January 2009 following the merger of China
Netcom and the former China Unicom. The telecommunications operator has
subsidiaries in 31 Chinese provinces, as well as other countries and
regions, worldwide. China Unicom has a modern communications network that
provides coverage throughout China, and operates fixed and mobile
communications services, domestic and international communications
facilities, satellite IPLC services, data communications services, network
access services, telecommunications services, and system-integration
services related to information and communication services. The company
also holds a WCDMA wireless license.

Noteworthy pieces in China Unicom’s history have included:

  • 2000 – China Unicom – as well as China Mobile and
    China Netcom – are created by national regulators to create competition
    for China Telecom.
  • 2002 – Rolls out its CDMA network, China’s first
    nationwide CDMA system.
  • 2003 – Introduces the U-Max CDMA2000 1X mobile
  • 2004 – Completes the acquisition of China Unicom
  • 2005 – Merges mobile network operator units Unicom
    New World Telecommunications (western China) and China Unicom Co.
    (northern and southern China).
  • 2006 – Secures an agreement for SK Telecom to
    acquire $1 billion in bonds in China Unicom, as well as to serve as
    China Unicom’s exclusive development partner for 18 months.
  • 2007 – Converts several bonds to SK Telecom, which
    holds a 6.6% stake in China Unicom … Rolls out 3G services in Macau
    … Acquires cellular businesses and GSM network assets in Guizhou
    Province from the parent company.
  • 2008 – Divests its CDMA wireless assets to China
  • 2009 – Officially merges with China Netcom …
    Begins leasing telecommunications networks across 21 provinces in
    Southern China … Begins selling Apple’s iPhone devices in China.
  • 2011 – Introduces the WoPhone Linux-based operating
  • 2012 – Sees Telefonica sell a 4.56% stake in China
    Unicom to the China United Network Communications Group.
  • 2014 – Began construction on a $387 million
    integrated telecommunications facility in Hong Kong.
  • 2016 – Teamed with Xiaomi to help Xiaomi expand sales
    through offline retailing channels.
  • 2017 – Alibaba Group Holdings and Tencent Holdings
    agreed to invest a total of approximately $10 billion into China Unicom
    as part of efforts by Beijing to revitalize the firm with private money.
  • 2018 – With China Mobile and China Telecom, reported
    that it would discontinue domestic data roaming charges.
  • 2019 – Granted a 5G license by China’s Ministry of
    Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
  • 2020 – Chose Nokia to support the buildout of its 5G
    SA Core network in China.

Key Executives

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The major executives of China Unicom include:

  • Wang Xiaochu – Chairman and CEO
  • Fan Yunjun– Executive Director & Senior Vice
  • Li Fushen – Executive Director
  • Zhu Kebing – Executive Director & CFO

Major Products

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Table 1 lists China Unicom’s major product and service lines.

Table 1. China Unicom Products and Services
Product or Service Product

Personal / Residential
Basic Voice and Value-Added Services Basic fixed telephone service, caller ID
display, simultaneous ringing, one-number service, card services,
fixed-line-based CRBT services, Telephone Mate voicemail,
call-for-help, fixed-line payment, and information service
Basic Data and Value-Added Services ADSL, LAN, videophone, home gateway,
green surfing content filtering, IPTV, online digital printing,
broadband client end, e-Key services, E-shield, action game, HD
video, online audio, online education, and online sports
Extended Broadband Services Residential services
Small /
Medium Business
Business Operator Communication and Information
services, fixed line telephony, PHS, mobile telephony, and Internet
Sales Butler Business data management
Broad Vision – Magic Eye Remote video monitoring
ICT Service IT and communications
technology for transmitting, sharing, and applying information
through multiple services
Call Center Service Outsourced BPO services such
as internal corporate management, corporate business operation, and
Broad-vision Video Surveillance Video surveillance telecommunications
Integrated Video Conferencing Services Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint
voice and video hybrid conferencing and video live broadcast
Integrated VPDN Virtual Private Dialup Network services
based on mobile and fixed access.
Integrated Voice VPN Integrated Virtual Private Network
Voice Services Wholesale voice and ITFS/UIFN/HCD
Data Services Private leased circuit, transit land
cable system, TPE cable system, ATM/FR, MPLS VPN, and IP transit
International Roaming 2G and 3G

Major Competitors

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Recent Activity

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In May 2020, China Unicom reported that it had a total of 309 million
billing users, a net decrease of 540,000 compared with the previous month.
In addition, its 4G users reached 258 million, a net increase of 1.905
million compared with the previous month. In terms of alliances, China
Unicom chose Nokia to support the buildout of its 5G SA Core network in
China. This expands the companies’ existing 4G working relationship. Nokia
has been awarded an approximately 10% share of China Unicom’s 5G core
network. Additionally, ZTE and China Unicom have allied to work on 6G
technology while working to integrate 6G with satellite networks, IoT, the
Internet of Vehicles, and the Industrial IoT. The companies have set
performance targets including a peak data rate of 1 Tbps, a user
experienced data rate of 20 Gbps, and a volume traffic capacity of

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