China Mobile is reportedly considering expanding into five new markets. Although it is the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, it has had limited success outside of its home territory and currently its only non-Chinese operations are in Pakistan.
The English-language Chinese newspaper Morning Whistle has reported that the operator is weighing up the “macroeconomic investment environment” in Brazil, Germany, North Korea, Portugal and South Africa.
The operator’s success outside China has been limited. Its $560 million acquisition of number five Pakistani operator Paktel in 2007 has failed to reap much of a reward; the rebranded CMPak is a considered a small fry in Pakistan’s competitive market.
China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou has claimed that the company’s fortunes abroad have been adversely affected by high prices, saying: “We saw opportunities [abroad], but the prices are far too high... That’s why China Mobile has made little progress in overseas expansion in recent years.”