China Unicom plan to persuade one million mobile phone users a month to join its third-generation network, the Wall Street Journal reported. China Unicom chairman Chang Xiaobing said that the company, who started offering Apple’s iPhone in China last week, had already signed up 5,000 users, despite the phone being priced at around RMB6000, substantially more than the US$800 price offered in Hong Kong. Chang admitted that start-up costs were a burden for the company, but that he believed that more and more users would want to buy the iPhone. "In the early investment stage of our 3G business, we will see revenue growth and user addition lagging behind the increase in operating expenses and network costs, but this will be temporary," he said. Not all observers shared Chang’s confidence, however. When questioned as to the dates the 5,000 phones were sold and whether or not this number included gray-market iPhones on the Unicom network, neither Unicom nor Apple representatives would clarify the figures.