China Unicom said its 2008 net profit grew 58% year-on-year because of a disposal gain from the sale of the company’s code division multiple access (CDMA) business to China Telecom, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company’s net profit reached US$4.96 billion, up from US$3.14 billion in 2007. China Unicom will also boost capital spending by 56% to US$16.1 billion from last year’s US$10.32 billion to help ensure the effective roll-out of its third-generation (3G) wireless service. The company plans to launch 3G services in 55 cities by May 17, and aims to cover 284 cities by 2009. China Unicom Chairman and Chief Executive Chang Xiaobing did not disclose the company’s 3G subscriber target nor what subsidies it would be offering purchasers of 3G-enabled phones.