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China Mobile Allowed to Open Taiwan Office

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China Mobile has been given permission to open a local office in Tawain, making it the first mainland telecoms company to be allowed to establish a presence in the breakaway republic. According to an application the company filed last year, it will set up a wholesale outlet for selling electronics goods.

However, the company has previously expressed a desire to take a 12% stake in the local mobile network operator, Far Eastone for a payment of around US$560 million. Such an investment would require a further change in Taiwan's financial laws. Last June, China Mobile also won the approval by Far EasTone Telecommunications shareholders for its plan to buy a 12% stake in the company though a new shares offering.

An economics ministry official, Fan Liang-tung, told Radio Taiwan that China Mobile would not be allowed to buy a stake in Far Eastone.

"The telecommunications sector is not yet open to Chinese investors, so any Chinese investment -- direct or indirect -- is not allowed," said Fan. Far Eastone was not immediately available for comment.

Far EasTone has also recently expressed an interest in building a 3G network based on the same TD-SCDMA technology that China Mobile is deploying on the mainland.

On the web: AFP - Radio Taiwan

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Tags: china mobile  far eastone  3g network  Taiwan