Hong Kong media report that China Unicom (CHU) is planning to acquire a stake in Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communication, the first 3G broadband wireless service provider in Taiwan, for NT$6 billion.

The report says that China Unicom may raise funds through some investment institutions including Merrill Lynch for the acquisition of APBW, a member of Asia Pacific Telecom Group. However, due to the Chinese mainland authority's limit for mainland companies to invest in the Taiwan telecom industry, China Unicom may first purchase and manage APBW's broadband and then wholly acquire it in two years when the limit from the government side is eliminated.

However, analysts believe that the report may just be a rumor as it is problematic for China Unicom to acquire such a company as APBW, which has recently seen financial losses.

Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communication is Taiwan's first 3G broadband wireless service provider. Established in November 2001 with a capital of US$471 million, APBW won its 3G mobile operating license and successfully commercialized Taiwan's first CDMA cellular service in 2003.

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