BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — China’s three major telecom operators convened internal meetings on Monday morning and announced their new top leaders.
Shang Bing, deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, will assume the position of board chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation, the parent company of China Mobile (CHL.NYSE; 00941.HK), to succeed Xi Guohua who will get retired.
Meanwhile, China Telecommunications Corporation’s board chairman Wang Xiaochu and China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd.’s board chairman Chang Xiaobing will exchange their posts.
China Telecommunications Corporation is the controlling shareholder of China Telecom (CHA.NYSE; 00728.HK), and China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. is the ultimate parent company of China Unicom (CHU.NYSE; 00762.HK; 600050.SH).
It is the second time for China’s three telecom giants to exchange their leaders in the history. In October 2004, Wang Jianzhou, then board chairman of China Unicom’s parent company, became general manger of China Mobile Communications Corporation, the parent company of China Mobile (CHL.NYSE; 00941.HK). In November 2004, Chang Xiaobing, then deputy general manager of China Telecommunications Corporation, became chairman of China Unicom’s parent company; while Wang Xiaochu, then deputy general manager of China Mobile Communications Corporation, became chairman of China Telecom’s parent company.
Analysts said the management changes in 2004 did not solve the problem of unhealthy competition for the telecom industry, and they believe the new management changes will not cast strong impacts on the three telecom giants.
Zeng Jianqiu, a telecom expert with Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said personnel change is not a big deal to the telecom industry, as the key for the industry’s development is reform. According to Zeng, management changes are signal of telecom reform, and telecom giants need to explore ways of reforming to face the opportunities and challenges brought by the rising of smart terminals and mobile Internet businesses.
Another telecom giant Xiang Ligang said at his Weibo account on Sunday that the management change of China Mobile is a result of Xi Guohua’s retirement and will have no substantial influence on the industry’s development. He added that the changes also proved the government has not considered the merger between China Unicom and China Telecom.
But industry insiders are optimistic about their new leaders. The IT news portal tech.qq.com quoted an industry insider as saying that Shang Bing, the former deputy minister, will boost the implementation of regulatory requirements of “speed upgrade & tariff reduction” by the largest telecom giant.
Although his assumption of duty will not influence China Telecom heavily, Chang Xiaobing is expected to use his management experience to guide the company to further exploit fixed-line access market in northern China.
Wang Xiaochu, the critically acclaimed leader of China Telecom, is believed to boost the morale of China Unicom’s employees and stop the company’s performance decline. Enditem