China Telecoms: Regulations and Market Forces

Since the late 1980s, when the State Council approved the scaling up of China’s public switched telecommunications network, the rate of build-out has been so colossal that many outside observers either assumed or wishfully believed that only through allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) could the targets be achieved. Indeed, as the targets were raised in quantum leaps (see Table 1) this belief grew stronger, as did the need to believe it. The worldwide transformation of the industry has provided market openings to so many new carriers, carrier-alliances and value-added service providers that the opportunities of entering the China market seemed too good not to be true. And so far that is exactly what they have turned out to be: not true.



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