17 Jun 2004
China Telecommunications Corporation ("China Telecom")and France Telecom (the Parties) recently agreed to enter into a long-term Strategic Partnership that envisages cooperation in a broad range of business areas. This Strategic Partnership aims, through joining the hands of two giants and combining their complementary strength, to achieve business expansion, service upgrading, efficiency gains and shareholder value enhancement.
Cooperative initiatives at various levels and in multiple areas will be carried out under the Strategic Partnership. The initial phase covers, among others, research and development of technologies and applications, procurement, network and business operation, and personnel exchange and training. The Parties have agreed to establish a joint research and development center in China, focusing initially on testing of new technologies and development of applications in support of business units. Efforts will also be made in search of joint procurement opportunities to leverage both Parties expertise and the scope and scale of their combined operations. The Parties have agreed to develop high-level management exchange and training programs that involve the exchange of senior managers and experts and the organization of various seminars and training sessions.
These and other cooperative initiatives are expected to strongly promote revenue growth, improve operational efficiency and achieve cost reduction, and facilitate effective capital expenditure control. The Strategic Partnership will help the Parties develop a thorough understanding of the future of the telecommunications industry. The Strategic Partnership is expected to play an important role in the international and long-term sustainable development strategies of both Parties.
Establishment of the Strategic Partnership between China Telecom and France Telecom will have far-reaching impacts on the long-term development of the Parties. Mr. Zhou Deqiang, Chairman of China Telecom, pointed out, "The establishment of the Strategic Partnership between China Telecom and France Telecom is an important strategic move in our internationalization process, our bid to enhance core competitiveness through benchmarking with industry best practice, and our efforts to build a world-class telecommunications operator." Mr. Thierry Breton, Chairman of France Telecom, commented, "France Telecom is very pleased to enter into this Strategic Partnership Agreement with the biggest and most successful Chinese operator. We have similar challenges ahead of us, and are keen to build with China Telecom a common vision for the future, sharing a R&D Center and expertise in the areas of procurement, network and business operations and new services."
About France Telecom
France Telecom is one of the world's leading telecommunications carriers, with 118,6 million customers on the five continents (220 countries and territories) and consolidated operating revenues of 46.1 billion euros for 2003 (11.45 billion euros for 1st quarter 2004). Through its major international brands, including Orange, Wanadoo, Equant and GlobeCast, France Telecom provides businesses, consumers and other carriers with a complete portfolio of solutions that spans local, long-distance and international telephony, wireless, Internet, multimedia, data, broadcast and cable TV services.
France Telecom is the second-largest wireless operator and Internet access provider in Europe, and a world leader in telecommunications solutions for multinational corporations. France Telecom (NYSE: FTE) is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges.
About China Telecom
China Telecommunications Corporation ("China Telecom")is the leading provider of wire-line telephone, data and Internet and leased line services in China, with 162 million wire-line subscribers, 7.4 million broadband subscribers and operating revenues of RMB 145 billion for 2003. China Telecom is the controlling shareholder of China Telecom Limited Corporation (HKSE: 728, NYSE: CHA), which operates in 10 provinces in Southern China with a net profit of RMB 24.7 billion for 2003 and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the New York Security Exchange in November 2002.