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China Unicom's profits plunge as it battles competition

By Dai Tian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-16 14:22

Increasing competition has hit the country's major telecommunications company China Unicom which has reported a 94 percent plunge in net profits to 625 million yuan ($90.7 million).

The carrier's annual report, released on Wednesday, shows revenue slipped 1 percent last year, while operating costs rose 2 percent.

The report attributed the lackluster year to "acute challenges from market competition".

Service revenue "bottomed out" before picking up 2.4 percent year-on-year to 241 billion yuan.

In the report, China Unicom says it will continue to focus on its 4G network with subscribers reaching 60.2 million an increase from 42.05 million a year earlier.

The company added 337,000 4G base stations to its network, taking the total to 736,000.

"China Unicom has braced short-term profit pressure to drive long-term sustainable development," chief executive officer Wang Xiaochu said.

He added that the company will strive to pay a dividend for the year 2017.

China Unicom is the first among the three telecom carriers in China to release its full-year results for 2016.

China Mobile and China Telecommunications are scheduled to release their annual reports next week.

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