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China has recorded 13.97 million 4G subscribers and 471 million 3G users as of June this year, according to the latest stats released by the Ministry of Industry and Technology Information (MIIT).

China’s State council once issued a suggestion last year for promoting information consumption and making the sector a new engine to boost domestic demand and economic growth.

At the press conference, MIIT spokesman Zhang Feng disclosed that China’s consumption amount on information products and services surged by 20% YOY to 1.34 trillion yuan (around US$215 billion) in the first half of this year. Zhang mentioned three highlights for information consumption data:

1. The construction of 4G and broadband networks boosts the increase of information consumption. By the end of June, China’s fixed-line broadband users reached 198 million households, while mobile broadband users amounted to 480 million, representing 38.5 of the total mobile phone users.

2. The upgrading of devices and development of information technology guaranteed steady growth of information consumption. China’s smartphone shipment neared 200 million, accounting for 87% of the total handsets shipped.

3. Information consumption is expanding from traditional entertainment fields like music and game to new sectors of financial, transportation, medical care, among others. China’s mobile data revenue and traffic surged 46.4% YOY and 52.1% YOY in H1 2014.

The revenue of China’s telecom enterprises providing basic telecom services and value-added services advanced 5.6%YOY and 23.6% YOY during the same period. FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) broadband adopters reached 53.93 million.

Zhang added that China Telecom and China Unicom have launched pilot tests for hybrid 4G strategy that combines TD-LTE and LTE-FDD networks in 16 cities.

China’s three leading state-owned telecom operators (China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom) jointly established July 18 China Comservice, a telecom infrastructure service provider, to avoid duplication of investments in infrastructures. The three telcos then will rent infrastructure from the company instead of building everything on their own. Although the company is currently mainly invested by the three state-owned carriers, China Comservice plans adopt a mixed-ownership model and introduce private investments or going public in the future, said Zhang Feng. He mentioned that the company’s registered capital is 10 billion yuan, which is not enough to support a telecom infrastructure service provider, leaving space for injection of private funds.

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