China Mobile remains the world’s biggest telco with a total of 925 million mobile subscribers

China Mobile saw revenues slip by 0.5 per cent in 2018 to $110 billion (CNY737 billion), as declining revenues from its mobile network business weighed heavy on the company’s profitability in 2018.

Net profits stood at $17.7 billion (CNY118 billion) in 2018, up 3.1 per cent from 2017.

China Mobile added 63 million 4G subscribers to its books in 2018, to bring the total number of 4G users on its networks to 713 million. Despite the rapid growth in subscriber numbers, the company’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) declined by 8 per cent to $7.94 (CNY53.1), stalling profitability.

"2018 was a challenging year for telecommunications operators. Competition amongst peers changed in characteristics as products and services have become homogenised while cross-sector challenges have intensified. The value of traditional telecommunications business rapidly diminished, coupled with multiple challenges from a complex and rapidly-changing policy environment," said Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile.   

Jie said that the company would continue its digital evolution and would look to refine its service and product offering to consumers, in an attempt to boost ARPU and profitability.

"In order to counter market competition, overcome the major obstacles in the ongoing reforms and enhance management, we continued to encourage everyone across the Company to take the “Big Connectivity” strategy even further and implement the integrated development of the “four growth engines”. Our concerted efforts and hard work have seen tangible results as we have established a clear direction of development for ourselves, delivering stable and healthy growth in operating results and continuously enhancing long-term sustainability. The combination of these hard-earned achievements is the foundation for our strength in the future," he said.

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