China Mobile

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Lund University Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies Master’s Program in Asian Studies China Track Spring Semester, 2011

The Competitive Advantage Analysis of the Telecommunication Corporation after the Restructuring of China’s Telecommunications Industry in 2008 --- Case study of China Mobile Communication Corporation

Author: Xuan Zhang Supervisor: Tommy Shih

ABSTRACT:
China has the world’s largest telecommunication market and the competition in this market is becoming fiercer among corporations. To survive and increase market shares, competitive advantages are the key factors each corporation strives for. As one of the representative companies in the industry, China Mobile established in 2000, with its competitive advantages, has expanded rapidly and led to huge profit gap between itself and other corporations. This is however a strong indication that China’s telecommunications industry is becoming more and more imbalanced. To obtain better competitive environment and market structure, several restructuring of the telecommunication industry has been implemented by the Chinese government. Such restructurings especially the one in 2008 has brought great impacts on the development of China Mobile.

In this thesis, we investigate the effects of restructurings on the competitive advantages of companies through a case study of China Mobile with a focus on the restructuring in 2008. The analysis framework of the thesis starts with analyzing the competitive environment of the whole telecommunications industry through Porter’s five forces analysis. Then, SWOT analysis model combining with the resources-based view and capabilities-based view, is used for a comparative research of the changes of China Mobile’s competitive advantages. In the long run, the goal of this research is to understand how to maintain and gain competitive advantages of a company under industry restructuring by government intervention. Additionally, the finding will facilitate the government in future policy making.

KEY WORDS: China’s telecommunications industry; Restructuring; China Mobile; Competitive advantages; SWOT analysis

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I am sincerely thankful to all people who have helped me on this thesis. Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude towards my supervisor Mr. Tommy Shih. His guidance and support help improve the analytical structure as well as theoretical framework of the thesis. I thank Hui Li for providing me useful annual reports of different telecommunication operators. I would also like to thank all my teachers and friends during my study in Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies in Lund. Finally, I am grateful for my parents’ love and support all these years and Yubin for his accompany.

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ABBREVIATIONS
China Telecom China Mobile China Unicom China Telecommunications Communications Corporation China Mobile Communications Corporation China United Telecommunications Corporation (Before the restructuring in 2008) China Unicom China United Network Communications Group Corporation (After the restructuring in 2008) China Netcom China Satcom China Railcom China Netcom Communications Corporation China Satellite Communications Corporation China Rail Communications Corporation

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION------------------------------------------------------6 1.1 The Restructurings and the Expansion of China Mobile in China’s-----------------------6 Telecommunications Industry 1.2 Purpose and Research Questions -----------------------------------------------------------------7 1.3 Disposition---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8

2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK----------------------------------9
2.1 The Definition of Competitive Advantage-------------------------------------------------------9 2.2 The Source of Competitive Advantage----------------------------------------------------------10 2.2.1 The Positioning School...
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