Bloomberg News

China Telecom Drops Most in 10 Weeks on Unicom IPhone Sale

January 09, 2012

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- China Telecom Corp. fell the most in 10 weeks in Hong Kong trading amid concern the company may need to pay more subsidies to win users after China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. introduces the Apple Inc. IPhone 4S on Jan. 13.

China Telecom, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, dropped 3.9 percent to HK$4.21 at close in Hong Kong, the largest decline since Oct. 28.

The company is battling larger rivals China Unicom and China Mobile Ltd. to attract users to its high-speed third- generation mobile network, to sell more data to subscribers who play games and watch online videos using their phones. China Unicom on Jan. 6 said it would give users a free iPhone 4S if they sign a multiyear service agreement.

“Competition should increase with Unicom’s introduction of iPhone 4S,” Kelvin Ho, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Yuanta Securities Co., said in a telephone interview today.

China Unicom starting Jan. 13 will offer a 32-gigabyte iPhone 4S model to subscribers if they sign a three-year plan costing 286 yuan ($45) a month, while a commitment to two years for a monthly fee of 386 yuan allows users to get the 16- gigabyte model, the company said last week.

--Edmond Lococo. Editors: Subramaniam Sharma, Garry Smith

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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