The general manager of Nokia’s operations in China forecast that his company’s sales of mobile phones would grow by 10-15 per cent this year, roughly the same proportion as in 2001, People’s Daily said. China’s Ministry of Information Industry has forecast that that the total number of mobile subscribers would grow by 55m in 2002 and industry experts are predicting sales growth of up to 40 per cent.
One possible factor behind Nokia’s relatively relatively conservative forecast is the growth of the CDMA (code division multiple access) network now being established by China Unicom. Nokia is not licensed to produce CDMA equipment in China, but it is in joint production talks with the domestic manufacturer Capitel, which does have a licence. Nokia’s sales in China last year hit US$3.01bn and exports grew by 50 per cent to US$2.22bn. China is Nokia’s second largest market in the world after the US. The company’s cumulative investment in China has topped US$2.04bn. In December, Nokia kicked off its Yn10bn Xingwang Industrial Park in Beijing as a global production base.