China Mobile logo 230Productivity at China Mobile increased 35-40% overall, confirming the trend at Verizon and AT&T. 37% more traffic was carried at flat ARPU (+0.9%.) Profit was up slightly, 2.3%, implying that overall productivity rose at roughly the rate of traffic growth. That's a very rough measure, of course, but it corresponds to numerous results from carriers around the world.

"5G Network Customers" were 92.76 million, compared to "5G Package Customers" of 189 million. Analysts around the world are cheering that we now have more than the very misleading "package customer" figure. 4G & 5G packages cost the same, so subscribers took "5G packages" even though they didn't have a 5G phone. Fortunately, MIIT releases monthly figures of phone sales, which I used for my figure of 5G subscribers in China.

Phone manufacturers shipped 27 million 5G phones in China in the month of March. The total 5G in 2021 should be over 300 million in China, about as much as the rest of the world combined. 

 Here's the official announcement

– 1 –
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited
take no responsibility for the contents of this announcement, make no representation as to
its accuracy or completeness and expressly disclaim any liability whatsoever for any loss
howsoever arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this
(Incorporated in Hong Kong with limited liability under the Companies Ordinance)
(Stock Code: 941)
The unaudited financial data of the Group for the first quarter of 2021:
• Operating revenue was RMB198.4 billion, up by 9.5% over the same period last year;
of which, revenue from telecommunications services was RMB177.7 billion, up by
5.2% over the same period last year
• EBITDA was RMB72.1 billion, up by 5.2% over the same period last year
• Profit attributable to equity shareholders was RMB24.1 billion, up by 2.3% over the
same period last year
In accordance with the Company’s disclosure policy and in order to further enhance the
transparency of the Group and provide additional information with which shareholders,
investors and the general public may better appraise the business and financial position of
the Group in a timely manner, the board of directors (the “Board”) of China Mobile Limited
(the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) announces certain selected
unaudited key performance indicators of the Group for the first quarter of 2021.
– 2 –
Financial Data
For the period from
1 January 2021 to
31 March 2021
For the period from
1 January 2020 to
31 March 2020 Change
Operating Revenue (RMB) 198.4 billion 181.3 billion 9.5%
Of which, Revenue from
Telecommunications Services (RMB) 177.7 billion 168.9 billion 5.2%
Sales of Products and Others (RMB) 20.8 billion 12.4 billion 67.0%
EBITDA (RMB) 72.1 billion 68.5 billion 5.2%
EBITDA Margin 36.3% 37.8%
Profit before Taxation (RMB) 31.5 billion 30.6 billion 2.7%
Profit Attributable to
Equity Shareholders (RMB) 24.1 billion 23.5 billion 2.3%
Margin of Profit Attributable to
Equity Shareholders 12.1% 13.0%
Operating Data
As at
31 March 2021/
For the period from
1 January 2021 to
31 March 2021
As at
31 December 2020/
For the period from
1 October 2020 to
31 December 2020
Mobile Business
Total Customers 940 million 942 million
Net Additional Customers* –2.32 million –4.26 million
4G Customers 788 million 775 million
5G Package Customers 189 million 165 million
5G Network Customers** 92.76 million –
Average Revenue per User per Month (ARPU)
(RMB/user/month)* 47.4 42.9
Total Voice Usage (minutes)* 716.6 billion 774.4 billion
Average Minutes of Usage per User per Month (MOU)
(minutes/user/month)* 258 272
Handset Data Traffic (GB)* 27.0 billion 25.4 billion
Average Handset Data Traffic per User per Month (DOU)
(GB/user/month)* 11.2 10.4
SMS Usage (messages)* 211.1 billion 245.3 billion
Wireline Broadband Business
Total Customers 218 million 210 million
Net Additional Customers* 8.10 million 6.11 million
Average Revenue per User per Month (ARPU)
(RMB/user/month)* 31.8 38.6
* for the relevant reporting period
** 5G network customers are mobile customers who have used the 5G network in the current month and
stayed on the network at the end of the month
– 3 –
In the first quarter of 2021, the Group continued to devote concerted efforts to promoting
digitalized and intelligent transformation and achieving high-quality development. Placing a
special focus on its “4x3” strategic core and fully implementing the “5G+” plan, it managed
to maintain stable growth in key business performance indicators and delivered sound
development momentum, taking solid steps towards becoming a world-class enterprise by
building a dynamic “Powerhouse”.
The Group recorded a total of around 940 million mobile customers as at 31 March 2021.
Among them, 4G customers, 5G package customers and 5G network customers amounted
to 788 million, 189 million and 92.76 million respectively, and this set of numbers has
demonstrated the continuous optimization of the Group’s customer structure. During the first
quarter of the year, data traffic business maintained good growth momentum with handset data
traffic recording a year-on-year increase of 37.3% and handset data DOU reaching 11.2GB.
Total voice usage increased by 8.3% year-on-year to 716.6 billion minutes. Total SMS usage
dropped by 12.6% year-on-year to 211.1 billion messages. Following the full implementation
of the “5G+” plan, the Group stimulated the consumption of information and communications
services with mobile ARPU increasing by 0.9% year-on-year to RMB47.4 for the first quarter
of the year. The Group will continue to develop its scale-based and value-oriented business
operating system and strive to achieve stabilized and rallied mobile ARPU for the full year of
The Group placed emphasis on scale expansion, brand building, ecosystem cultivation and
value uplift for the “Home” market, achieving transformation that focuses on value. As at 31
March 2021, the total number of wireline broadband customers was 218 million, with a net
increase of 8.10 million for the first quarter of the year. Wireline broadband ARPU grew by
1.6% year-on-year to RMB31.8.
The Group saw a good start for 2021 with telecommunications services revenue growing by
5.2% year-on-year to RMB177.7 billion for the first quarter of 2021. It will continue to foster
business transformation and upgrade and make an all-out effort to promote the balanced and
integrated development of the CHBN markets. It will also continue to optimize its revenue
structure and strive to achieve stable and healthy growth in telecommunications services
revenue for the full-year of 2021.
The Group’s revenue from the sales of products and others increased by 67.0% year-onyear to RMB20.8 billion for the first quarter of the year, which was mainly attributable to
the buoyant growth of handset sales as 5G handsets were available with more varieties and at
more affordable prices in the terminal market.
Profit attributable to equity shareholders increased by 2.3% year-on-year to RMB24.1
billion for the first quarter of 2021. Margin of profit attributable to equity shareholders was
12.1% with ongoing industry-leading profitability. EBITDA went up by 5.2% year-on-year
to RMB72.1 billion, with EBITDA as a percentage of telecommunications services revenue
remaining at 40.6%, which was the same as that of the corresponding period of last year.
– 4 –
Following the large scale operation of 5G, the Group expects the corresponding depreciation
and electricity expenses will increase at relatively high rates. As the Group scales up the
development of DICT and other information services, the demand for resources to address
the need for business transformation and upgrade will remain robust. Facing these challenges
and pressure, the Group will continue to explore new sources to increase revenue, and at the
same time take measures to lower costs and enhance efficiency. It will also precisely allocate
resources by adhering to the principle of ensuring a sufficient budget for areas essential to
promote growth, while reducing and controlling expenses on certain selected areas. While
fostering business transformation, promoting innovation and nurturing new areas of growth,
the Group will strive to achieve stable and healthy growth in telecommunications services
revenue and net profit, maintain good profitability and continuously create value for investors.
The Board wishes to remind investors that the above performance indicators are based on the
Group’s unaudited management accounts. Investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on such
In the meantime, investors are advised to exercise caution in dealing in the securities of
the Company.
By Order of the Board
China Mobile Limited
Yang Jie
Hong Kong, 20 April 2021
Certain statements contained in this announcement may be viewed as “forward-looking
statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors, which may cause the actual performance, financial condition or results
of operations of the Company to be materially different from those implied by such
forward-looking statements. In addition, the Company does not intend to update these
forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these risks, uncertainties
and other factors is included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F
and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
As at the date of this announcement, the Board of Directors of the Company comprises
Mr. Yang Jie, Mr. Dong Xin, Mr. Wang Yuhang and Mr. Li Ronghua as executive directors
and Dr. Moses Cheng Mo Chi, Mr. Paul Chow Man Yiu, Mr. Stephen Yiu Kin Wah and
Dr. Yang Qiang as independent non-executive directors.