Providers expand networks to meet rapid mobile growth
Consumer adaption of mobile drove the telecom provider category. Mobile surpassed the PC as the access point to the Internet in China for the first time. The number of people accessing the Internet with mobile devices totaled 527 million – over 90 percent with smartphones – at the end of June 2014, according to the China Network Information Center.
To meet the growing demand for voice and data transmission, China's three telecoms – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – strengthened their 3G networks and accelerated deployment of 4G, at least in urban areas. China Mobile expanded its TD-LTE network, a variation of 4G developed in collaboration with several international technology and handset companies.
All of the telecoms added products and services, like mobile payment apps, to differentiate and connect meaningfully with customers. China Telecom, for example, introduced a banking app in partnership with China Minsheng Bank. In an initiative designed to reach young people, China Unicom launched its WeChat-Wo card, a SIM card specifically designed for the WeChat social network of Tencent, the Internet portal.