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China - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

China - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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Executive Summary

China's massive telecoms and digital market steams aheadChina's telecom market is the largest in the world in many respects but is served by only three operators; China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. All three are integrated providers of telecom services although China Mobile is the largest in the crucial mobile market.

China's fixed-line market is in decline due to voice mobile substitution although the two main fixed-line operators of China Telecom and China Unicom have aggressively deployed and marketed fibre broadband to increase the value of maintaining a fixed-line. Mobile subscriptions outnumber voice and voice is giving way to data as the primary revenue generator.

China boasts the largest broadband subscriber base in the world, with the majority of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices. Despite high broadband penetration China possesses one of the slowest broadband speeds globally although this should change in 2016 following network architecture improvements such as the October 2015 completion of a two year project to increase the number of nationwide Internet traffic hubs from three to ten.

DSL was the initial driving force behind fixed broadband growth in China, followed later by EPON fibre and now GPON fibre. HFC makes up a tiny proportion of total broadband connections as despite the fact that China also possesses the largest cable TV subscriber base in the world, cable TV operators were late in upgrading cable TV networks with the necessary infrastructure, missing a significant slice of the country's rapidly expanding fixed broadband market.

With the world's largest online population, China's digital economy rapidly grew to cater to the needs of the online masses. Much of the initial growth in China's digital economy was underpinned by the online demand for information, media and commerce, giving rise to China's three domestic digital economy giants; Baidu (search), Alibaba (e-commerce) and Tencent (social media). Traditional media players largely struggled to keep pace with the migration of audiences to online media, while China's telcos missed the opportunity to develop into digital giants as they focused on deploying fixed and mobile broadband networks.

Also evolving within China's digital economy to meet the needs of China's online audience are the banking and financial services industry, public administration services, health services and education services.

China's digital economy will continue to grow as only half of China's 1.4 billion people are online. This online audience is growing wealthier due to China's consistent macroeconomic growth and demographic trends such as ongoing urbanisation. As a consequence China's online audience is increasingly willing to spend online, a trend encouraged by the government as it seeks to balance the economy away from an overreliance on building infrastructure and exporting goods towards domestic consumption.

The fate of China's traditional media players is largely secure given that they are government owned and hence seen as an integral part of the government's desire to control the media. The competition for audience share and hence revenue between privately and state-owned operators reflects the same competitive challenges faced by state-owned operators in other industries in China's evolving economy.

Although China boasts the largest mobile market in the world, there is still much room for growth given the relatively recent focus on large scale LTE investment. China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom operate a variety of technology platforms that reflect the commercial preferences of operators and the industry development policies of China's government.

Entering 2016 all three mobile network operators are focused on deploying LTE networks and monetizing such investments by enticing end users to upgrade to higher ARPU LTE products such as mobile broadband.

Operators are also investing in technologies design to maximise the user experience such as Rich Communication Service (RCS), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Near Field Communications (NFC).

Given the size of China's mobile population and its position as a �mobile first� country, it is not surprising that China possesses a vibrant mobile content and applications industry, with China overtaking the USA in terms of iOS app downloads in 2015. Growth is only set to continue given the relatively low penetration of LTE smartphone handsets.

Key Developments:

China's government strengthens IOT policies to boost economic growth

China's government further opens the telecom market to private companies

China possesses the world's largest M2M market with significant growth evident in the connected car market.

The Majority of China's online audiences accesses the Internet via mobile

Fibre has overtaken DSL to become the key fixed broadband technology platform

Internet speeds double after China completes a two year project to increase the number of national Internet hubs from three to ten.

China's big digital giants are consolidating their position by branching into non-core areas through investments in China's many start-ups, some of which were launched by ex-employees, mirroring the trend that developed Silicon Valley's start-up ecosystem.

China's broadcasters are under threat as audiences shift from traditional broadcasters to online media platforms operated by new players.

��������� The TV is expected to become one of the biggest battlegrounds for China's digital giants as its role evolves into a dedicated hardware interface into one of China's many developing �walled garden� digital ecosystems.

China's largely state-owned CATV industry is undergoing consolidation to capture the economies of scale that was not possible through operating thousands of smaller CATV operators.

China's massive online population allows a number of social media platforms to flourish, a number of which have pivoted towards e-commerce in order to monetize traffic.

China's digital economy is yet to reach its full potential as just over half of the population is online.

China Telecom and China Unicom are focusing on LTE-FDD deployments after finally receiving the necessary licences

LTE subscribers expected to surpass 3G subscribers by 2016

LTE drives almost double the amount of data used compared with 3G

Mobile is the most popular Internet access method in China

China possesses the largest M2M market in the world

To cut costs China's operators have pooled assets into a Tower sharing joint venture company

Increasing focus on mobile apps by China's digital media giants due to the proliferation of mobile phones and LTE

China overtook the USA in terms of iOS app downloads.

1. Key statistics

2. Telecommunications market

2.1 Overview

2.2 Historical overview

2.2.1 Background of China's telecom market - 1980s and 1990s

2.2.2 Background of China's telecom market - 2000-2007

2.2.3 China's telecom market restructure in 2008

2.2.4 Overview of China's telecom market - 2008-2012

2.2.5 Trade dispute - 2013/2014

3. Regulatory environment

3.1 Historic overview

3.2 Regulatory authority

3.2.1 Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

3.2.2 China Internet Network Information Centre

3.3 Government policies

3.3.1 Private investment in state-controlled industries

3.3.2 Broadband China

3.3.3 Three-network Convergence Policy

3.3.4 Internet Plus

3.3.5 IOT / M2M

3.4 Telecommunications Regulations

3.5 Licensing

3.6 Interconnect

3.6.1 Local calls and domestic long distance calls

3.6.2 International long distance calls

3.6.3 Internet backbone networks

3.6.4 SMS

3.6.5 MMS

3.7 Tariff Setting

3.8 Universal Service Obligation

4. Competition issues

5. Fixed network operators

5.1 Introduction

5.2 China Telecom

5.2.1 Company overview

5.2.2 China Telecom: Financial statistics

5.2.3 China Telecom: Operations statistics

5.3 China Unicom

5.3.1 Company overview

5.3.2 China Unicom: Financial statistics

5.3.3 China Unicom: Operations statistics

5.4 China Tower

5.5 CITIC Networks

6. Telecommunications infrastructure

6.1 Overview of the national telecom network

6.2 Forecasts

6.2.1 Forecast fixed-line subscribers - 2013-2018

6.3 New developments

6.4 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)

6.4.1 Terrestrial and submarine cable infrastructure

6.4.2 Satellite infrastructure

6.4.3 International Internet bandwidth

6.5 Specific IT developments (data centres, cloud computing)

6.5.1 Cloud Computing

6.6 Smart infrastructure

6.6.1 Smart grids

6.6.2 Smart cities

6.6.3 Connected homes

6.6.4 Connected car

7. Broadband market

7.1 Introduction and statistical overview

7.1.1 Market analysis

7.1.2 Forecast Internet users - 2020 - 2026

7.1.3 Broadband statistics

7.1.4 Forecast broadband subscribers - 2017 - 2020

7.1.5 IP Addresses

7.1.6 Domain names

7.1.7 Websites

7.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)

7.2.1 Introduction

7.2.2 China Telecom

7.2.3 China Unicom

7.3 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks

7.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

7.4.1 Fixed wireless

8. Digital media

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Regulation

8.3 Key digital media players

8.3.1 Baidu

8.3.2 Tencent

8.3.3 SINA

8.3.4 Weibo

8.3.5 Sohu

8.4 Advertising

8.5 Television broadcasting

8.6 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)

8.6.1 Alibaba

8.6.2 Baidu

8.6.3 Tencent

8.6.4 Xiaomi

8.6.5 China Telecom

8.6.6 China Unicom

8.7 Hybrid fibre coax cable (HFC)

8.7.1 Overview

8.7.2 Consolidation

8.7.3 CATV market regulations

8.7.4 Major operators

8.7.5 Statistics

8.7.6 Digital Cable TV

8.7.7 Next Generation Broadcasting network

8.8 Satellite TV

8.9 Video streaming

8.9.1 Major players

8.10 Social media

8.10.1 Meilishuo

8.10.2 Mogujie

8.10.3 RenRen

8.11 Music

8.12 On line gaming and gambling

8.12.1 Major players

9. Digital economy

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Online activities

9.2.1 e-Commerce

9.2.2 e-Banking

9.2.3 e-payments

9.2.4 e-Government

9.2.5 e-Health

9.2.6 e-Education

10. Mobile communications

10.1 Market analysis

10.2 Mobile statistics

10.2.1 General statistics

10.2.2 Mobile broadband statistics

10.2.3 Forecasts

10.3 Regulatory issues

10.3.1 Licensing

10.3.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

10.3.3 VAT Introduction

10.4 Mobile infrastructure

10.4.1 Digital networks

10.4.2 Other infrastructure developments

10.4.3 IoT and M2M networks

10.5 Major mobile operators

10.5.1 Operators

10.5.2 China Mobile Ltd (CML)

10.5.3 China Telecom

10.5.4 China Unicom

10.5.5 MVNOs

10.6 Mobile content and applications

10.6.1 Mobile internet

10.6.2 Rich Communication Services (RCS)

10.6.3 Mobile gaming

10.6.4 m-commerce

10.6.5 m-banking (payments/loans)

10.6.6 Mobile Advertising

10.6.7 m-TV

10.6.8 Apps

Chart 1 - China fixed-line and mobile subscribers - 2003 - 2014

Chart 2 - China Telecom revenue breakdown for voice and data - 2009 - 2015

Chart 3 - China Unicom revenue breakdown for voice and data - 2008 - 2015

Chart 4 - China Unicom subscriber data - mobile, fixed-line, broadband - 2008 - 2015

Chart 5 - Fixed-line traditional long-distance telephone calls - 2008 - 2013

Chart 6 - China total international outlet bandwidth - 2006 - 2014

Chart 7 - Number of Internet users and annual change in China - 2000 - 2016

Chart 8 - Comparison in age structure of China internet users - 2008 - 2014

Chart 9 - China broadband subscribers and household penetration - 2006 - 2016

Chart 10 - IPv4 address resources in China and annual change- 2006 - 2014

Chart 11 - Websites in China and annual change- 2002 - 2013

Chart 12 -Cable TV subscribers and digital TV penetration - 2007 - 2016

Chart 13 - Online video viewing by duration and device - 2014

Chart 14 - Users penetration of major video portals - 2014

Chart 15 - China Mobile market subscribers, Population Penetration, Annual Change - 2006 - 2016

Chart 16 - Mobile market share per operator - 2008 - 2015

Chart 17 - China Mobile subscribers and annual change 2006 - 2015

Chart 18 - Mobile internet subscribers and annual change - 2007 - 2014

Exhibit 1 - Restructuring of China's telecommunications industry

Exhibit 2 - China Telecom Corporation Ltd at a glance - 2015

Exhibit 3 - China Unicom Ltd at a glance - June2015

Exhibit 4 - Regional/international fibre optic cable networks: January 2015

Exhibit 5 - Selected Chinese satellite service providers and satellites

Exhibit 6 - China Satcom satellite fleet

Table 1 - Country statistics - 2015

Table 2 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - January - June 2015

Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2014

Table 4 - Internet user statistics - 2015

Table 5 - Fixed Broadband statistics - 2015

Table 6 - Mobile statistics - 2015

Table 7 - National telecommunications authorities

Table 8 - Telecom industry revenue and fixed asset investment - 2006 - 2013

Table 9 - China Telecom financial data - 2001 - 2015

Table 10 - China Telecom revenue breakdown - 2009 - 2015

Table 11 - China Telecom fixed-line, fixed broadband subscribers and ARPU - 2004 - 2015

Table 12 - China Telecom - Caller ID subscribers and Fixed-line Ring Tone subscribers - 2010 - 2014

Table 13 - China Unicom financial data - 2001 - 2015

Table 14 - China Unicom mobile and fixed-line service revenue structure - 2009 - 2015

Table 15 - China Unicom mobile and fixed-line voice and non-voice revenue - 2008 - 2015

Table 16 - China Unicom - Fixed line Local access subscribers - 2008 - 2015

Table 17 - China Unicom domestic long-distance outbound call minutes - 2008 - 2014

Table 18 - China Unicom international long-distance outbound call minutes - 2008 - 2014

Table 19 - Fixed-line and mobile subscriptions and penetration rate - 1998 - 2014

Table 20 - Fixed-line local telephone calls - 2006 - 2013

Table 21 - Fixed-line traditional long-distance telephone calls - 2006 - 2013

Table 22 - Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration - lower band: 2014; 2018

Table 23 - Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration - higher band: 2014; 2018

Table 24 - China total international outlet bandwidth: 2006 - 2014

Table 25 - International outlet bandwidth for key networks - 2004 - 2014

Table 26 - Internet users and annual change - 1996 - 2016

Table 27 - Average time online per week - 2010 - 2014

Table 28 - Urban and Rural Internet users - 2013 - 2014

Table 29 - Gender structure of Internet users - 2011 - 2014

Table 30 - Comparison in age structure of China internet users - 2008 - 2014

Table 31 - PC penetration in Enterprises by employee size - 2014

Table 32 - PC penetration in Enterprises by location - 2014

Table 33 - Internet usage in Enterprises by employee size - 2014

Table 34 - Internet usage in Enterprises by location - 2014

Table 35 - Internet access methods by Enterprises - 2014

Table 36 - Forecast internet users and penetration - lower band: 2020; 2026

Table 37 - Forecast internet users and penetration - higher band: 2020; 2026

Table 38 - Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2000 - 2016

Table 39 - Internet access by Internet access device type - 2013 - 2014

Table 40 - Internet access locations for computers - 2013 - 2014

Table 41 - China Telecom fixed broadband subscribers and annual change - 2003 - 2015

Table 42 - China Unicom - Fixed line Broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2015

Table 43 - China Unicom - Fixed-line Broadband and Local Access ARPU - 2008 - 2015

Table 44 - China Unicom - Number of Fixed Broadband Access Ports - 2010 - 2015

Table 45 - China Unicom - International Internet and cable capacity - 2010 - 2014

Table 46 - Forecast broadband subscribers and population penetration - higher band: 2017; 2020

Table 47 - Forecast broadband subscribers and household penetration - lower band: 2017; 2020

Table 48 - IPv4 address resources in China and annual change - 2005 - 2014

Table 49 - IPv6 address resources in China and annual change - 2009 - 2014

Table 50 - Total domain names in China and annual change - 2005 - 2014

Table 51 - Classified domain names in China - 2014

Table 52 - Classified .cn domain names - 2014

Table 53 - Growth of websites in China and annual change - 2002 - 2014

Table 54 - China Telecom - FttX homes passed and Subscribers - 2013 - 2015

Table 55 - DSL internet subscribers - 2000 - 2014

Table 56 - Baidu financial data - 2012 - 2015

Table 57 - Tencent financial data - 2012 - 2015

Table 58 - Tencent capital expenditure - 2013 - 2015

Table 59 - Tencent - Monthly Active Users of various products - 2013 - 2015

Table 60 - Tencent - Mobile Monthly Active Users for QQ and Qzone- 2014 - 2015

Table 61 - SINA financial data - 2012 - 2015

Table 62 - SINA revenue breakdown - 2012 - 2015

Table 63 - Weibo financial data - 2012 - 2015

Table 64 - Weibo operational data - 2012 - 2015

Table 65 - Sohu financial data - 2010 - 2015

Table 66 - China online advertising revenue - 2012 - 2018

Table 67 - China Central TV advertising revenue - 2002 - 2014

Table 68 - China Telecom ITV revenue - 2012 - 2015

Table 69 - Cable TV subscriptions and annual growth - 1996 - 2016

Table 70 - Digital cable TV subscribers and penetration rate - 2002 - 2016

Table 71 - Online video users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 72 - Online video viewing by device - 2014

Table 73 - Online video viewing by Desktop/laptop and Mobile - 2012 - 2014

Table 74 - Online video viewing by venue and device - 2014

Table 75 - Channels to access and watch online videos - 2014

Table 76 - TV terminal device utilisation by online video viewers - 2014

Table 77 - Usage frequency of Internet TV features - 2014Table 78 - Brand Penetration rates of video sites - 2014

Table 79 - RenRen financial data - 2010 - 2015

Table 80 - RenRen operational data - 2012 - 2014

Table 81 - Online music users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 82 - Online gaming users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 83 - Time spent playing online games daily - 2014

Table 84 - Payment for PC online games - 2014

Table 85 - Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications - 2012 - 2014

Table 86 - Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications - 2009 - 2011

Table 87 - Market share of online search engines - 2005 - 2010; 2012; 2014

Table 88 - Online shopping users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 89 - Brand penetration of online shopping platforms - 2014

Table 90 - Proportion of businesses engaged in e-commerce by industry - 2014

Table 91 - Proportion of businesses engaged in e-procurement by industry - 2014

Table 92 - Alibaba financial data - 2011 - 2015

Table 93 - Alibaba revenue breakdown - 2011 - 2015

Table 94 - Alibaba GMV: Taobao, Tmall, Total, Mobile - 2013 - 2015

Table 95 - Alibaba Annual active buyers and Mobile MAU - 2014 - 2015

Table 96 - JD.com financial data - 2012 - 2015

Table 97 - JD.com - Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) - 2011 - 2015

Table 98 - JD.com - Active customer accounts - 2012 - 2015

Table 99 - JD.com - Fulfilled orders - 2012 - 2015

Table 100 - Online banking users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 101 - Brand penetration of online payment platforms - 2014

Table 102 - Mobile subscribers and annual change - 1995 - 2016

Table 103 - Online Instant messaging users and utilisation rate - 2009 - 2014

Table 104 - China Mobile 3G and LTE subscribers - 2009 - 2015

Table 105 - China Mobile - mobile data traffic - 2010 - 2015

Table 106 - China Telecom - Monthly Average data Traffic per handset - 2011 - 2015

Table 107 - China Telecom - Total Handset data traffic - 2012 - 2015

Table 108 - China Unicom - Total Handset data traffic - 2010 - 2015

Table 109 - China Unicom - Average data usage per subscriber - 2010 - 2014

Table 110 - China Unicom - Mobile broadband data card subscribers - 2010 - 2014

Table 111 - Forecast Mobile Internet subscribers lower band forecast - 2015; 2020

Table 112 - Forecast Mobile Internet subscribers higher band forecast - 2015; 2020

Table 113 - Little Smart (PHS) subscribers - 2002 - 2012

Table 114 - China Mobile revenue, capex, EBITDA margin, net profit - 2000 - 2015

Table 115 - CAPEX breakdown - 2014 - 2015

Table 116 - China Mobile ARPU - 1997 - 2015

Table 117 - China Mobile data services revenue breakdown - 2010 - 2015

Table 118 - China Mobile subscribers, annual change, and market share - 1997 - 2015

Table 119 - China Telecom mobile and 3G/4G subscribers and ARPU - 2002 - 2015

Table 120 - China Telecom - SMS messages sent and Mobile Ring Tone subscribers - 2010 - 2014

Table 121 - China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G subscribers - 2002 - 2015

Table 122 - China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G Blended MOU - 2002 - 2014

Table 123 - China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G ARPU- 2008 - 2015

Table 124 - China Unicom - WO App store registered users - 2011 - 2014

Table 125 - China Unicom - Mobile music subscribers - 2011 - 2014

Table 126 - China Unicom - Number of GSM and 3G/4G base stations - 2010 - 2014

Table 127 - Utilisation rate and number of users for mobile applications - 2013 - 2014

Table 128 - Mobile internet subscribers and annual change - 2006 - 2014

Table 129 - Mobile online gaming users and utilisation rate - 2010 - 2014

Table 130 - Game playing experience of mobile gamers - 2014

Table 131 - Daily average mobile gaming duration - 2014

Table 132 - Amount spent on games - 2014

Table 133 - Mobile advertising response rates - 2014

Table 134 - Mobile advertising acceptability by targeting criteria - 2014

Table 135 - Preferred mobile advertising format - 2014

Table 136 - Apple net sales for Greater China - 2012 - 2015

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China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Alibaba, JD.com, Baidu, Tencent, SINA, Weibo, Sohu, Xiaomi, Meilishuo, Mogujie, RenRen, China Central Television (CCTV), Youku, Iqiyi/Qiyi, V.QQ.com, BesTV, UnionPay, Apple Inc.


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