China should not force own mobile standard, says US official

Beijing appears to be favoring a homegrown next-generation mobile phone standard for its market, but should let carriers make their own choice, a US trade official, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said the appeal by Franklin Lavin, undersecretary of commerce for international trade, came amid reports China is pressing carriers to adopt its standard to boost its technology industries.

'We do see signs that China intends to tilt the playing field to a national standard, even if customers favor an international system,' Lavin was quoted as saying. China is the world's biggest mobile phone market with 461 million phones, and decisions about standards could have far-reaching effects on the equipment market, the report said.

The report said China is promoting 3G standard to reduce reliance on foreign technology and create opportunities for Chinese telecoms companies.

US trade officials said last year that China had promised to let carriers make their own choice.

Chinese carriers are reluctant to use the Chinese system, TD-SCDMA, saying it doesn't work as well as foreign systems known as W-CDMA and cdma2000, according to Chinese news reports.

But industry experts say Beijing is still pressing carriers to use its standard alongside the international rivals, the report said.

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