Sarin says Vodafone in "pole position" in China

Britain's Vodafone Group is in 'pole position' in China as the country prepares to restructure its telecommunications market, CEO Arun Sarin, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

Vodafone has a 3.3% stake in Chinese cellphone operator China Mobile and is looking to increase its presence in the world's biggest mobile market, the Associated Press report said.

'The Chinese government is clearly looking to open up further,' Sarin told Reuters when asked how open the Chinese government was to foreign investors currently.

'How many new foreign investors come in I don't know. We are in the very fortunate position that we're investors there already and we've developed a terrific relationship with our partners in China over the last six or seven years,' he said.

'So I feel like we're in pole position and we'll see what we can make out of that pole position,' he said.

He was speaking after attending a speech by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to a business group in New Delhi, the Reuters report said.

Asked if he was confident Vodafone could raise its stake in China the Reuters report further quoted the CEO as saying that 'there is going to be restructuring in the Chinese industry this year. We will work hard to see what options and alternatives are available to us.'

Divesting the China Mobile stake was not an option 'at this stage,' Sarin said.

'My view is we want more exposure to China, not less exposure to China,' he said.

Sarin said earlier this month that Vodafone had to make important acquisitions in Asia and Africa this year, the Reuters report further said.