Asia Express - Mobile Communications
China Mobile, Taiwan's FET to Form Strategic Alliance
May 01, 2009
China Mobile announced on April 29 that the company has entered into a strategic agreement with Taiwanese telecom operator FET (Far EasTone Telecommunications), marking the first Chinese investment in Taiwan, according to a press release by China Mobile. Pursuant to the agreement, China Mobile will buy 12% stake in FET for NT$17.77 billion (US$540.1 million; US$1 = NT$32.9) in cash. The deal, however, is still pending approval by regulators of Taiwan such as Taiwan's National Communications Commission and the Investment Commission under Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Should the deal be completed, both parties will collaborate in several areas, including joint procurement, data/voice roaming and value-added services, as well as the development of 3G and/or above technologies, including TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access). In addition, China Mobile and FET will incorporate a JV in China, with China Mobile holding a 51% stake and the latter a 49%, according to Taiwan's Economic News Daily on April 30. Furthermore, China Mobile also plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Taiwan. Aside from China Mobile, Japanese NTT DoCoMo and SingTel also hold stakes in FET.