Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson announced the group had earmarked US$300m for a cellular phone joint venture in China. Speaking in Hong Kong, where he was launching a new Hong Kong-Sydney service by the Virgin Atlantic airline, Branson said Virgin was in talks with an unnamed Chinese telecom company to set up a 50-50 joint venture to provide mobile phone services. Virgin's Virgin Mobile Holdings is Britain's fifth-largest mobile phone company. The company makes its money by reselling airtime on other carriers under the Virgin brand and service. Last month Branson announced a similar strategy for entering the Indian mobile market. He said Virgin would be foolish not to become a mainland player, given that China is the world's largest mobile market.
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