China Mobile Marked Increase in Net Income

China Mobile, the first global mobile operator by subscribers, reported Thursday a net profit up 6.3% over the first six months of the year.

It is the highest growth rate of six months since mid 2008 (18%) for the Chinese operator that competes with China Unicom and China Telecom, to attract a growing number of 3G users.

China Mobile claims to have 616.8 million subscribers the end of June, 35 million users of 3G. In the first half, net income reached 61.3 billion yuan, against expected figure of 59.8 billion yuan and 57.6 billion in the first half of 2010.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) of China Mobile rose 70 yuan a month in the first half, against only 67 yuan in the first quarter.

The very high number of mobile subscribers in China face a penetration rate of around 70% against 200% in Hong Kong. Many subscribers are users of the 2G in rural areas and small towns.