China’s largest cellular operator, China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd, has posted a 20% increase in first quarter net profit on the back of a continued rise in subscriber numbers. Net profit for the three months to the end of March was CNY11.25 billion, up from CNY9.39 billion in the same period last year. Revenue rose from CNY42.14 billion to CNY54.86 billion. The company added 9.58 million customers in the first three months of the year, ending March with 213.87 million subscribers. The increase in user numbers is having a negative effect on user revenue levels, with monthly ARPU falling to CNY89 from CNY91 in the fourth quarter of 2004. Its only rival in the Chinese cellular market, China Unicom, added 4.33 million subscribers in the first quarter to give it a total customer base of 116.41 million by 31 March.