China Unicom Ltd. has said in a statement that it will buy nine remaining provincial networks from its parent for US$387.18 million, using its own cash to fund the acquisition.

The provincial networks deal would give Unicom a network spanning 30 provinces in the world's biggest telecommunications market based on the GSM wireless phone standard popular in Europe. The additional provinces are mostly located in western and northern China, less wealthy areas than its eastern coastal base. The company's chief rival, China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd., the world's largest carrier based on subscribers, also operates a separate network based on the same standard.

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