China Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Report Cover Image

Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 135

China telecom market resurgence expected to follow the long-awaited easing of Covid-19 lockdowns

Housing the world’s largest population, China is also home to the world's largest telecoms markets for fixed-line telephony, VoIP telephony, and mobile – at least in terms of the total number of subscribers. Penetration rates in each segment are more modest, however, and therefore there is still significant opportunity for further growth.

China has three integrated telcos – China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom – which provide a semblance of competition across the vast market. But the country’s telecoms sector is perhaps best characterised by the dominant role the central government plays in planning where to invest in infrastructure as well as in research to keep China at the forefront of the industry. Despite the challenges in Western markets faced by China’s major telecom equipment manufacturers (Huawei and ZTE) as well as the offshore subsidiaries of its telcos, China is already working on the development of 6G with the goal of securing lucrative patents as well as influencing the coming standards process.

China Mobile dominates the mobile market with 58% market share, although that has been slowly declining over the years as China Telecom has started to pick up the pace. The latter is also performing well in the fast-growing fixed broadband market, to the point where that segment produces twice as much revenue for the telco as does mobile broadband. With fixed broadband penetration doubling in the last seven years to reach 39% in 2022, China now also has the largest number of broadband connections in the world. The vast majority of these are fibre as a result of aggressive deployment programs by both China Telecom and China Unicom in a bid to offset the decline in the number of fixed-line telephony subscribers. Such is the success of their initiatives that fixed-line teledensity has stabilised at 12.7%, and the fixed segment’s share of overall telecom sector revenue has actually increased during the last decade to more than one third of the total.

In the mobile segment, growth has been on a much slower trajectory of late, partly due to the relative maturity and saturation of the market in some areas, but also because of the Covid-19 crisis putting a heavy brake on the mobile broadband market in particular. Renewed growth is likely to occur following the easing of lockdowns that will allow greater mobility outside of the home, as well as the wider promotion of 5G handsets and services as the telcos continue with their rollout plans.

This report update includes telcos’ operating data and CAICT industry data to March 2022; Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses; an assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector; and other recent market developments.

Key Developments

  • China Telecom Americas and China Unicom Americas both forced by the FCC to shut operations down in the US on the back of security concerns.
  • The 15,000km Peace cable linking China to Europe and Africa lands in Kenya.
  • Dr Peng Group, the majority-owner of the US-Hong Kong undersea cable venture, announces its withdrawal from the project, after the DoJ denies authorisation.
  • GalaxySpace launches the first of China’s proposed ‘mega-constellation’ of LEO satellites.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, China Broadcasting Network, China Tower, CITIC Networks, GalaxySpace. China Satcom, China Direct Broadcast Satellite.

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.