China - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


The Chinese telecom market is the largest in the world in terms of subscribers and is undergoing transition. China's telecommunications development has generally been driven by investments from government-allied entities and features a strong industrial policy.

As the market approaches saturation, there has been a shift of emphasis in China's broadband policy from infrastructure build-up and service provision to application creation and user demand stimulation.

The Chinese telecommunications market is undergoing a rapid transition, and this is driving a fast-developing data centre market. The Chinese data market has been driven by multinational enterprises and international service providers seeking to establish a presence there. However, the country remains largely untapped by private operators and external hyper-scale providers such as Google and AWS.

China’s fixed-line market is in decline due to voice to mobile substitution. Fixed line penetration has dropped significantly over the past five years from 18% in 2014 to 12% in 2019. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2024 driven by the growing adoption of mobile broadband.

China is projected to lead spending on Internet of Things technologies in the Asia Pacific, driven by the agriculture and healthcare sectors.

This report presents key aspects of the China telecom market as it enters 2020. It includes an overview of the regulatory environment, market highlights and comprehensive statistics.

Key developments:

  • The Chinese data centre market is undergoing a rapid transition.
  • Fixed line penetration has dropped significantly over the past five years from 18% in 2014 to 12% in 2019.
  • China's government strengthens IOT policies to boost economic growth.

Companies covered in this report include:

China Mobile; China Telecom; China Unicom

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
  • Regulatory environment

    • Regulatory authority
      • Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
      • China Internet Network Information Centre
    • Government policies
      • Private investment in state-controlled industries
      • Broadband China
      • Three-network Convergence Policy
      • Internet Plus
    • Telecommunications Regulations
    • Licensing
    • Interconnect
      • Local calls and domestic long-distance calls
      • International long-distance calls
      • Internet backbone networks
      • SMS
      • MMS
    • Tariff Setting
    • Universal Service Obligation
  • Fixed network operators

    • Introduction
    • China Telecom
    • China Unicom
    • China Mobile
    • China Tower
    • CITIC Networks
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
      • Terrestrial and submarine cable infrastructure
      • Satellite infrastructure
    • Data Centres
    • IT Equipment Manufacturers
  • Smart infrastructure

    • IoT
      • Market Developments
      • IoT Statistics
      • Agriculture
      • Healthcare
    • Smart cities
    • Connected homes
    • Connected cars
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – China Telecom financial data – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 3 – China Telecom fixed-line, fixed broadband subscribers and ARPU – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 4 – China Unicom financial data – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 5 – China Unicom – Fixed line Local access subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Fixed-lines and penetration rate – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 7 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2007 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2019; 2024
  • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 4 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Northern Asia
  • Chart 5 – Fixed-line and penetration rate – 2009 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Northern Asia - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Regional/international fibre optic cable networks
  • Exhibit 4 – Selected Chinese satellite service providers and satellites
  • Exhibit 5 – China Satcom satellite fleet

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile


Broadband Fixed
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 67

Status Current

Last updated 23 Aug 2019
Update History

Analyst: Phil Harpur

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