China Mobile, the world’s leading mobile network operator, today announced the opening of its European and Africa headquarters, to be based in London. The decision to move into the capital was assisted by Think London, the foreign direct investment agency for London, in partnership with UK Trade and Investment. China Mobile is the latest in a string of Chinese Telecommunications companies to locate their headquarters in the capital.
China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator in subscriber base. This grew by 21.4 per cent in the first six months of 2007, and totalled 369.3 million by the end of the year. The mobile phone industry market is set to rocket with more than a billion new subscribers expected by 2010 in developing countries alone.
Henry Ge, Chief Representative, China Mobile said: “As the world’s leading mobile telecoms operator, it is important that we have a strong European presence. London is the best place for us to be as it is at the heart of technology convergence in Europe, and offers us access to the technical capability and expert talent we need in order to grow our business. Think London’s support has been invaluable in helping us explore the opportunities the capital has to offer, and finding the right location for our new European and Africa headquarters.”
Michael Charlton, Chief Executive, Think London, said: “London is the global centre for new, emerging technologies and the leading European destination for expanding Chinese companies, with a third of these operating in the Information and Communications Technology sector. The growing number of high profile Chinese ICT companies such as China Mobile choosing to locate in London is proof that this multi billion pound technology sector presents huge opportunities for these investors.”
Lord Digby Jones, Minister for Trade and Investment said: “China Mobile has made an excellent decision to come to the UK. The UK is a stepping stone to the rest of the world. We provide a base from which to access, not just European, but those markets around the world which are a perfect fit for their expansion plans.
“This company’s decision to base themselves in the UK is even more evidence of the deepening ties between our two countries.
“Businesses in both countries are discovering the advantages of trading with one another. I am really delighted that China Mobile has been convinced of the advantages of the UK. We are a competitive, deregulated market with a highly-skilled workforce.”
China Mobile operates basic mobile voice and value-added services such as data, IP telephone and multimedia. The company has provided GSM roaming services to more than 271 operators in 206 countries and regions, and GPRS roaming services to more than 93 operators in 101 countries and regions in the world.