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Ex-official named to No 2 spot at China Mobile

07-01-2011 17:04 BJT

BEIJING - Xi Guohua has been appointed as the Party secretary and vice-chairman of China Mobile Communications Corp, which analysts said will add momentum to the development of homegrown fourth generation (4G) mobile technology.

Xi, 59, is a former vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. He has wide experience in running companies and working in the government.

According to a profile posted on the Xinhua News Agency's website, the Shanghai-born Xi has a PhD in management from Tongji University in Shanghai.

He has been working in the telecommunications industry since 1977, and was the chairman of the Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co Ltd in 2000 and general manager of China Netcom Corp in 2002.

People familiar with Xi describe him as a scholarly businessman and a clear-thinking, low-profile politician.

He became vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in March 2008.

Duncan Clark, president of the Beijing-based research firm BDA China, said Xi's appointment may increase the political support for China Mobile's promotion of 4G time division long term evolution (TD-LTE) technology, an international 4G telecommunication standard.

"China Mobile is losing market share in China because of the unpopular 3G TD-SCDMA technology. It is keen to develop the 4G network as soon as possible," Clark said.

China Mobile had 611.2 million customers by the end of May, 68 percent of China's total mobile users. About 32 million subscribers are 3G network users, according to the company.

The nomination could indicate a central government attempt to tighten regulation on China Mobile, which has been bogged down by a series of corruption scandals in recent years, and a gradual replacement for Wang Jianzhou, who is likely to retire as chairman, other analysts said.

"China Mobile is a huge State-owned telecom company and the public pays a lot of attention to it. After stepping into the position, Xi may regulate the company's business practices in a much stricter way," Tina Tian, a telecom analyst with the US-based research firm Gartner Inc, told China Daily. Authorities are continuing to investigate multiple possible cases of corruption at China Mobile, several of them involving senior officials.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: China Daily

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