China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscriber base, has reported a 36% year-on-year rise in second quarter net income to CNY12.8 billion (USD1.5 billion), beating analyst expectations of between CNY11.6 billion to CNY11.7 billion. Sales for the period exhibited similar growth, up 35% to CNY59.6 billion. The figures include – for the first time – the ten provincial networks it acquired from its parent at the end of last year. Although the cellco is adding new users at a declining rate, it still averages over three million net additions each month, and at the end of June its subscriber base stood at 223.8 million, well ahead of rival operator China Unicom, which had 120.5 million customers. ARPU for the six months, however, fell from CNY93 in 2004 to CNY90, as the vast majority of new customers are low spending pre-paid users from rural regions. China Mobile’s shares have risen 22% in 2005 as it regains favour with investors.