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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 06:32 GMT 07:32 UK
China Mobile sees earnings soar
Person using a mobile phone
China Mobile control about two-thirds of China's cellular market
China Mobile, the world's top mobile phone firm by subscribers, has unveiled a 28% jump in half-year profits.

The state-run operator saw its net profits rise to 24bn yuan ($2.97bn; 1.66bn), from 18.83bn yuan in the previous year.

Group earnings were lifted by strong subscriber growth, China Mobile said.

The Hong Kong-based company recently overtook Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo as Asia's most valuable telecoms carrier, with a market value of $81bn.

New networks

China Mobile controls about two-thirds of China's booming cellular market, which with 363 million users is the world's biggest.

Its half-year results included for the first time 10 provincial networks - mostly located in China's less affluent western regions - which the company acquired last year.

China Mobile has been gaining market share at the expense of its main rival China Unicom, despite charging higher tariffs.

However, the company said its average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped to 90 yuan per month during the first half, from 93 yuan last year.

Before the results were announced, shares in China Mobile closed up more than 1% on Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, at HK$32.45.

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