Cash-flush China Mobile is under pressure from investors to spend some of its horde on international acquisitions, including possibly Telefonica.
China Mobile has an estimated $50 billion (€36.8 billion) in free cash – more than Apple – leading to calls to either pursue M&As or return some of it to shareholders, Bloomberg reported.
Financial pundits have suggested Telefonica – which is currently trading at bargain-basement prices - or some other European operator as a likely target.
But while chairman Wang Jianzhou told the wire service that the company does remain open to overseas investment, he believes the cash is better spent on upgrading the operator's networks and paving the way for TD-LTE rollouts.
Any potential takeover targets may come from Asia instead of Europe, if Wang's previous comments are any guide.
China Mobile could likewise buy its parent company's Pakistani unit, Paktel, which was acquired for $284 million for in early 2007.