Alibaba and the 40 investors: 5G licensee CBN gains CNY100bn new capital

28 Aug 2020

State-backed cable TV operator and 5G mobile licensee China Broadcasting Network (CBN) has received investment of more than CNY100 billion (USD14.5 billion) from 47 companies, with the funding expected to be channelled into its 5G development, Global Times reports, quoting information from Chinese e-commerce/tech group Alibaba and state-owned State Grid Information & Communication Industry Group each invested CNY10 billion in return for CBN ownership stakes of 9.88%, alongside other new stakeholders including Chinese provincial broadcasting networks which acquired 29.24% of CBN’s shares between them. CBN’s existing parent, state-owned China Radio & Television Network Co – controlled by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) – invested more than CNY51.6 billion to retain a 51% stake in the company.

In June 2019 China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology (MIIT) allocated a 5G licence to CBN, which already held 5G-suitable spectrum in the 700MHz band for TV broadcasting services, and in May 2020 CBN inked a 5G network sharing and co-construction agreement with China Mobile.

China, China Radio and Television (China Broadnet)