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Is China Mobile Planning to Buy a Stake in Vodafone?

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There's a new rumor out there; that China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) has plans to buy a stake in Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD).

That gossip comes after word that AT&T (NYSE: T) has decided againt a bid on the British communications giant, at least for the near future.

Taiwan's Want China Times, quoting a Hong Kong newspaper, says the mainland Chinese telecom operator plans to purchase up to 20 percent of Vodafone shares. Vodafone was reportedly a “strategic shareholder” in state-run China Mobile, but sold out its shares in 2010.

The two companies have worked together in the past, jointly bidding on a mobile phone license last year in Myanmar (Burma) – and according to the Daily Mail China Mobile wanted to set up a joint venture with Vodafone in Africa's growing communications market, “as the UK company has a strong presence there.”

See also: Is This Facebook's Plan For Growth?

For its part, China Mobile has not responded to the rumors; which also state any such purchase would cost the company from $9.2 billion to over $37 billion.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), meanwhile, says its new partnership with China Mobile is going just fine, thank you. On Monday, CEO Time Cook called the company's launch in 16 cities “an incredible start” – and said Apple should have a market presence in 300 Chinese cities by the end of 2014.

And according to CNET, analysts expect Apple's new venture with China Mobile to bring in 15 million to 30 million more iPhone sales this year.

Posted-In: communications Daily Mail telecommunications Tim CookNews Rumors M&A Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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