In the first half of 2020 China Unicom registered 3.8% year-on-year growth in total revenue to CNY150.4 billion (USD21.7 billion), with service revenue climbing 4.0% to CNY138.3 billion. Cost efficiency improvements contributed to a 10.1% y-o-y rise in net profit attributable to shareholders to CNY7.6 billion in the first six months of the year, although H1 EBITDA declined marginally, by 0.1% to CNY49.5 billion. During the period, Unicom reported that it proactively responded to the challenges of COVID-19 and ‘turned adversity into opportunities’ by pushing forward with ‘comprehensive digital transformation and innovating communications service offerings.’
Unicom’s mobile subscriber base stood at 309.5 million at 30 June 2020 (down from 311.0 million at end-March 2020 and 318.5 million at end-2019), including 260.7 million 4G customers (up from 254.5 million in 1Q20 and 253.8 million at end-2019), while its mobile service revenue saw a 2.8% y-o-y decrease in H1 2020 although the company noted that this rate of decline narrowed compared with that for full-year 2019. Fixed broadband subscribers reached 85.9 million at mid-2020, up from 84.8 million at end-Q1 2020 and 83.5 million at the start of the year, as fixed broadband access revenue rose 5.9% y-o-y in 1H20.
Unicom also reported that the number of active 5G base transceiver stations (BTS) on its network has reached approximately 210,000 across more than 50 cities, including BTS jointly built with rival China Telecom via their ‘co-build co-share’ agreement. Of the total, Unicom said that it built more than 100,000 BTS itself, while in the first half of 2020 alone, Unicom and Telecom added a combined 150,000 new 5G BTS. Unicom also highlighted that it has expanded the co-build co-share venture with Telecom in 4G and other areas to ‘further improve resource utilisation efficiency’.