China Mobile said its 2008 profits were up by 30% year-on-year to US$16.5 billion due to strong subscriber growth, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, earnings growth dropped towards the end of the year amid intense competition and the global economic downturn. The company is facing challenges to growth due to increased competition caused by increasing mobile telecommunications penetration rates, the restructuring of China’s telecommunications industry and the issuance of third-generation licenses. China Mobile Chief Financial Officer Xue Taohai warned that the company’s average revenue per user will likely continue to fall this year as it penetrates into rural markets which typically have lower tariffs.
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