China Mobile posted its first profit decline since 1999 amid stronger competition, Bloomberg reported. The telecom network operator said second-quarter profits fell to US$4.4 billion, from US$4.47 billion, lower than had been expected. Increased competition from China Telecom and China Unicom, newly allowed to offer high-speed mobile services, forced China Mobile to cut prices. While sales rose 8.9% to US$16.3 billion, average monthly phone bills fell 11%. The company added 15.96 million new users in the second quarter, down from 22.5 million new customers in the second quarter of 2008. China Mobile Executive Director Li Yue also said the company would offer third-generation (3G) mobile services in 238 cities by the end of the year.
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