China Telecom courting foreign firms, says state media

China Telecom is courting foreign investors to help fund its plan to buy China Unicom's CDMA mobile phone technology business, an AFP report, quoting state media said.

China Telecom said four or five companies have shown interest so far, the official Shanghai Securities Journal quoted China Telecom's chairman Wang Xiaochu as saying.

Singapore Telecom, South Korea's SK Telecom, and CDMA technology developer Qualcomm are among the possible partners, the report said.

China Telecom announced it planned to take over the CDMA business from China Unicom, the smaller of the nation's two main mobile phone operators.

However, the deal will be costly at 110 billion yuan (€10.3 billion, US$16 billion), the AFP report said.

The acquisition plan is part of a long-anticipated shake-up of the country's telecom sector aimed at increasing competition.