China Unicom, one of the country’s big three state-owned telecom operators, denied reports that it would receive investments from private tech giant Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings as part of the company’s long-awaited mixed-ownership reform plan. China Unicom confirmed Tuesday that it set up e-commerce operating centers with Alibaba and Tencent in May but said the partnerships were not related to the ownership reform plan. News of China Unicom’s partnership with Alibaba and Tencent fueled speculation last week that the two internet giants would inject capital into the country’s second-largest telecom operator and become new shareholders, according to Caixin. The telecom company is set to be a pilot for the so-called mixed-ownership reform as part of China’s broader plans to introduce more private investors into state-owned enterprises. Recent media reports have speculated that Chinese tech majors, also including search giant Baidu and Alibaba’s rival JD.com, are lining up to invest a total of $10 billion in the telecom operator.