China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest wireless operator by market value, increased fourth- quarter profit 19 percent after cutting prices and expanding into rural areas.
Net income rose to 19.9 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) from 16.7 billion yuan a year earlier. Fourth-quarter profit was derived by subtracting nine-month results from full-year earnings reported by the Beijing-based company today. Rainie Lei, a China Mobile spokeswoman, declined to confirm the figures.
China Mobile added a record 14 million users in the fourth quarter after offering discounts and targeting the 800 million people who live outside cities. The company and its smaller rival, China Unicom Ltd., are seeking to boost customers before the issuing of high-speed wireless phone licenses opens the market to increased competition. [Full Text]