China Mobile's Rural Communications Strategy

Posted: 1 Jul 2009

See all articles by William Kirby

William Kirby

affiliation not provided to SSRN

F. Warren McFarlan

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

G. A. Donovan

Asia Pacific Research Center

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: May 21, 2009

Abstract

China Mobile was the world's leading mobile communications service provider with over 400 million customers. In some cities, its penetration rate was over 100%. With such huge successes, Chairman Wang Jianzhou was exploring ways to expand its customer base. Nearly saturated in the cities, China Mobile needed to broaden its base of subscribers. Wang believed that further investment in China's rural villages was a key strategy that would help the fuel growth for the future. Already deeply invested in the rural areas based on the company's participation in the government-mandated 'Connect Every Village' project, China Mobile took advantage of this foundation and created new products and value-added services in order to make its mobile phone network more valuable to the lifestyles of China's rural population. However, the cost of connecting remote locations was high and was often not offset by subscriber fees or usage rates of these populations. Would this investment be relegated to a socially responsible project or would it pay-off for China Mobile in the future?

Suggested Citation

Kirby, William and McFarlan, F. Warren and Donovan, G. A. and Manty, Tracy, China Mobile's Rural Communications Strategy (May 21, 2009). HBS Case No. 309-034, Harvard Business School General Management Unit, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1426221

William Kirby (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

F. Warren McFarlan

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

G. A. Donovan

Asia Pacific Research Center

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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