The Ministry of Information Industry recently approved a joint venture between China United Telecommunications Corp and SK Telecom Co, South Korea's largest mobile phone operator.

With a registered capital of US$6 million, the JV is expected to help China Unicom provide faster Internet access than current technology allows and more contents for Unicom's subscribers of its code-division multiple access network, or CDMA. The joint venture was actually agreed by the two firms in March, with China Unicom retaining a 51 percent stake and SK Telecom holding the balance. Foreign firms are not allowed to provide mobile telecom services until 2006, under China's World Trade Organization commitment.

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