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Some 266 Foreign-Invested Firms Approved to Offer Telecom Services in China in First Half of 2020

By Ding Yi / Jul 09, 2020 04:40 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

In the first half of 2020, China approved 266 foreign-invested enterprises to run business in its telecom service market which was once off-limits to foreign investors, according to a think tank.

The figure represents a big jump from two decades ago when the number was just single-digit.

Of the 266 companies, 213 obtained permits from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) while the remainder did so from the Shanghai Communications Administration, according to a report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) Wednesday.

The licensed firms provide a wide range of value-added telecom services with a focus on online data and transaction processing as well as internet information services, said the CAICT.

Nearly 30% of the licensed firms are wholly foreign-owned, while about 11% are 50:50 joint ventures and 17 companies are majority controlled by foreign investors, according to the report.

In terms of foreign capital source, about two-thirds of the licensed companies are backed by Hong Kong investors, followed by investors from the U.S. and Singapore, the report said.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

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