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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chinese Handset Sales Topped $30Bln in 2002

BEIJING -- China, the world's largest mobile market by users, produced 130 million handsets last year with overall industry sales reaching 250 billion yuan ($30 billion), the official Xinhua news agency said.

About 63 million of the mobile phones produced in China in 2002 were exported, it said. The country's 37 mobile phone makers, both foreign and domestic, had a combined annual production capacity of 150 million phones last year.

The industry has drawn more than $10 billion dollars of investment from 1999 to 2002, attracting foreign investors interested in China's telecoms sector, the agency said.

Citing statistics from the Information Industry Ministry, it said 25 foreign firms had invested more than $4 billion in 2002 and produced 100 million handsets. Its top handset makers include Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, TCL International and Sony Ericsson.

The Information Industry Ministry said 4.5 million new mobile telephone users were recorded in June, taking the nation's total to a world-leading 234.5 million people.

The country added an average of 4.65 million mobile subscribers each month in the first half of 2003.

Analysts said growth in mobile subscribers was slowing relative to a year ago, when between 5 million to 6 million new users were being added every month.

The decline was expected, reflecting a slight slowdown in the market served by operators China Mobile and China Unicom, they said.

The country added 4.7 million new fixed-line subscribers last month, for a total of 237.6 million users, the ministry said in a report on its web site,

A telecoms analyst at a European investment bank said June was the first month since 2001 that more fixed-line subscribers than mobile subscribers were added.

The figure reflected the success of a cheap wireless phone service, known domestically as "Little Smart," which is offered by China's top two fixed-line phone companies China Telecom and China Netcom, he said.

Analysts say the "Little Smart" subscriber figures are included in the fixed-line category, as it is based on fixed-line infrastructure.

China's telecommunications industry earned revenues of 220 billion yuan ($26.58 billion) in the first half of this year, up 12.1 percent from the same period in 2002, the ministry's report said.