China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone provider, reported a 4.2 percent gain in profits for the first half of 2010, even as the company is seeing growing competition.
On Thursday, China Mobile released its interim results, showing profits of 57.6 billion renminbi ($US 8.4 billion). Revenue for the company reached 229.8 billion renminbi ($33.7 billion), an increase of 7.9 percent from the previous period.
At the same time, the company continues to see its user base expand. China Mobile's total customer base has reached 554 million, an increase of 31.76 million new users. But the company says it is facing numerous "external challenges" that include intensifying industry competition.
China Mobile launched its 3G services in January 2009, but did so using the country's homegrown standard known as TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous CDMA). The company reports that its 3G customers now number 10.46 million. But this figure still falls far behind the company's original goal of reaching 50 million to 80 million 3G subscribers by the end of this year.
China Unicom uses WCDMA technology and China Telecom uses CDMA-2000 -- both standards used widely outside of China. At the end of May, the number of total 3G subscribers in the country reached 22.6 million according to Chinese regulators.
China Mobile is also seeing growth with its Mobile Market, which was launched in August 2009 and now offers 20,000 applications. By the end of June of this year, China Mobile had more than 25 million downloads from its Mobile Market. Business from valued-added services increased by 13.4 percent and contributed to 29.5 percent of the company's operating revenue.