Watch Out Telcos and Internet TV Providers: A Major New Competitor is Coming

A big new kid is coming to China’s telecoms block, with the imminent formation of a national company that could offer 5G wireless, broadband and paid TV services.

The pending formation of the company, whose name translates to Unified National Network (UNN), was contained in multiple announcements issued Wednesday by the new company’s publicly listed backers. Those backers, which total 47 and include e-commerce giant Alibaba and China’s national electric grid operator, will collectively pour more than 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) into the new company in a major capital injection.

Despite its newness, such a firm could have a significant advantage over recent current players in the space by being able to offer combinations of 5G wireless, broadband and paid TV services.

UNN will have registered capital of 101.2 billion yuan, and be 51% held by China Broadcasting Network Corp. Ltd., a company formed six years ago with a goal of consolidating many of China’s regional cable TV companies. Many of UNN’s other stakeholders will be regional network operators that will provide cable and other assets to the new company.

UNN’s formation comes as regional cable networks throughout China are rapidly losing their subscribers to newer internet-based services like Baidu-backed iQiyi and Alibaba’s Youku. The new national company should be more competitive due to its deeper resources and ability to offer 5G services, possibly helping to stabilize or reverse the trend.


– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.