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China's Telecommunications Revolution$
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Eric Harwit

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233748.001.0001

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Telecommunications Competition in the 1990s and 2000s

Telecommunications Competition in the 1990s and 2000s

(p.43) 3 Telecommunications Competition in the 1990s and 2000s
China's Telecommunications Revolution

Eric Harwit (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks whether companies owned by the state actually effectively compete with each other. A major potential problem with the shielding effect of industrial policy is that state-owned or protected corporations have no reason to strive for greater efficiency, better service, or a larger market share when they are essentially all part of the same family. However, it is shown that giant public Chinese telecommunications service companies like China Telecom, China Unicom, and others actually became fiercely competitive. This chapter examines reasons for this competitive nature and assesses the positive benefits for the Chinese economy and for consumers. It concludes that there was a high degree of competition between Chinese ministries and their state-owned corporations, and that even within the state, sector organizations can generate the kind of dynamic that spurs both price competition and the rapid expansion of services.

Keywords:   China Telecom, competition, foreign investment, joint ventures, mobile telephones, monopoly, standards, China Unicom

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