BEIJING-Nokia Corp., the giant Finnish mobile telephone company, plans to form its sixth manufacturing joint venture in China under a contract, initially valued at $10 million, with the Chinese Posts and Telecommunications Industrial Corp.
The partnership, Beijing Nokia Mobile Telecommunications Ltd., will produce Global System for Mobile communications networks, including equipment and mobile phones, at the Chinese partner’s Beijing facility. The factory will support the Beijing Telecommunications Administration’s plans for a 10-fold expansion of BTA’s network-which was announced by Nokia in February-and possibly other Asian networks.
Nokia’s six joint ventures in China are in Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin.
Last October, China’s first official cellular call was made by Wu Jichuan, the minister of Post and Telecommunications, on a Nokia GSM phone.
The number of mainland Chinese people owning mobile phones doubled last year from 750,000 to 1.5 million. Officials of China’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunication expect mobile phone ownership to double again this year, while analysts believe 30 million mobile phones will be in use in mainland China by 2000.
Paging systems is another area of growth in China. The government opened the paging market to free competition in 1993. By the year 2000, China is expected to have more than 30 million pagers in use.