BT signs deal with China Telecom

BRITISH TELECOM has taken its first step into the Chinese market, potentially one of the biggest in the world, by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-owned operator China Telecom.

The agreement, signed on Tuesday by Sir Iain Vallance, the BT chairman, and Zhang Ligui, the director general of China Telecom, provides for the two companies to swap technology and examine business opportunities.

The MoU brings BT into competition with Cable & Wireless, its UK rival, which hopes to use its presence in Hong Kong to forge links with China Telecom and tap into the expansion of the Chinese telecoms market.

Mr Ligui said: "China Telecom is very keen to develop strong links with BT. A modern and strong telecommunications infrastructure is an essential element to China's future economic development and it is important we widely co-operate with leading carriers such as BT."

Initially, the agreement will be limited to training and exchange of technologies but BT executives believe it could be the start of a much bigger alliance.

It opened an office in Peking just over a year ago and has been looking at ways to enter the Chinese telecoms market, which is growing at a rate of 10 million new lines a year. This is the equivalent of BT's domestic network growing by half every 12 months.

Last June C&W sold a 5.5 per cent stake in Hongkong Telecom to China Telecom for pounds 726m, reducing its majority shareholding to 54.5 per cent. At the time C&W said the deal would provide opportunities for it to co- operate with China Telecom in the Chinese market. It also held out the possibility of a further reduction in its shareholding in Hongkong Telecom to bring the C&W and China Telecom stakes into line.

Reacting to the agreement between China Telecom and BT, a C&W spokesman said: "We are pleased with our relationships in China and we are confident that C&W and Hongkong Telecom will have big roles to play in this huge market."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat