China approves higher foreign holdings in telecom industry

The Chinese government increased the equity proportion for foreign investors in domestic telecom companies to 49% from 33% according to its commitment to WTO, a SinoCast report said.

The report said China plans to gradually open up telecom industry market to outside world in phases based on the original layout by China's Ministry of Information Industry, firstly opening up value-added telecom business market, then the data communication market and finally the basic telecom industry market.

China should cancel the restrictions for foreign capitals in domestic and international business of telecom industry around 2007 and the proportion for foreign investors should be no more than 49% in line with its pledge to WTO, the report said.

Presently, China's leading telecom operators China Mobile, China Unicom, China Network and China Telecom have foreign shareholders.