China Telecom branches out

China Telecom, the Chinese government-owned communications company that helps keep a lock on domestic business here, is getting ready to expand into the UK.

According to Chinese press reports, the telecom operator will begin offering SIM cards for mobile phones in the UK within a few months; the first time a Chinese telecom has branched out of China. A company manager told the China Daily newspaper that the service will be targeted mainly at Chinese businesspeople and travelers in the UK, rather than the actual domestic market.

"We will provide bilingual customer service to our users, which is a necessity for some Chinese people in the UK," Ou Yan, managing director of China Telecom Europe, told the paper.

Overseas carriers have been blocked from offering direct services in China massive and lucrative telecom market, with state-owned companies firmly in charge.