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China Mobile books lowest quarterly profit in five years as apps sap revenue

22
Apr
2014

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – China Mobile Ltd booked its lowest quarterly profit in five years as the world’s biggest mobile carrier by subscribers struggled to compete with mobile Internet applications offering services such as messaging. China Mobile’s traditional revenue sources such as phone calls and short messaging services (SMS) have rapidly lost out to apps such as Tencent Holdings Ltd’s popular WeChat, which allows smartphone users to communicate over data networks. To capitalize on increased data demand – and recover higher-spending customers from rivals China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd – China Mobile has been investing heavily in fourth-generation mobile networks. The company complimented 4G’s faster connection speeds in the first quarter by starting sales of Apple Inc’s popular iPhone, to stem the flow of defectors turned off by China’s Mobile’s slower 3G network and lack of iPhone.

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