China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. (China Unicom) was established in 2009 out of a merger between China’s second and third largest telecom operators, China Unicom and China Netcom. This merger was significant because it allowed both organizations to combine their respective strengths, mobile telecommunication services for China Unicom and fixed-line telecommunication services for China Netcom, to form a comprehensive and strategic union to better serve customers within China, and around the globe.
Pre-merger China Unicom was incorporated in 1994 under the approval of the Chinese State Council, which was seen as a significant move by the Chinese government to deepen economic reform and liberalization, and break the monopoly in the domestic telecom industry. China Unicom has constructed a nationwide mobile communications network and a leading-edge unified multi-service network platform. China Unicom services included mobile communications, IP long-distance calls, data communications, and the Internet services to take subscribers into a new era of mobile commerce and mobile entertainment.
Pre-merger China Netcom was a renowned telecom operator around the world, and the official partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games for fixed communications services. China Netcom was listed on both the NYSE and HKSE. China Netcom owned well-structured, technically advanced, and a functionally powerful modern communications network with nationwide coverage and global reach. Its key businesses included domestic and international fixed telephony networks and facilities (including Wireless Local Loops), fixed voice, data, image and multimedia communications, and information services.