Mobile operators in China have been pushing into the industrial services sector, and for China Telecom the benefits of this strategy were evident in its latest annual results, as its industrial services revenue grew by almost a fifth year on year to CNY118 billion. China Telecom’s cloud revenue increased 108% to CNY58 billion and network security services by 24% to CNY5 billion. It also added 8,000 commercial private 5G projects in 2022, taking its total to about 15,000.
China Telecom’s latest results show the successful competitive position that operators can create for themselves in cloud and enterprise in general. In China, telco cloud is particularly benefiting from the rising demand for cloud from China’s state-owned enterprises and government. Like their peers globally, Chinese operators are working on revenue diversification beyond core services and seemingly doing so successfully: according to GSMA Intelligence, the combined non-core revenue for the three major Chinese operators nearly doubled during 2017–2021. This is a notable achievement, which was driven by advancements in B2B and backed by the government’s tech agenda.