China Raises Barriers to Telecom Market
China has decided against opening its massive telecommunications market to foreign service providers, citing the dearth of laws to guarantee fair competition.
In addition, the posts and telecommunications sectors have not been separated, and foreigners would shy away from the money-losing postal sector.
China's minister of posts and telecommunications, Wu Jichuan, also said he has not been able to find foreign investors to pour money into projects in poorer regions.
One such project is the 1700-mile optical fiber line between Lanzhou, capital of the northwestern province of Gansu, and Lhasa, capital of the Himalayan region of Tibet. China also has not yet gone through deregulation.
The move places China in a unique position because of its need for capital to expand its telecom services. Wu held out hope for foreign investors in the longer term, citing the push to increase the number of telephones to 10 percent nationwide and 3 percent to 40 percent in urban areas by 2000.
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