French retail giant Carrefour and China Unicom Guangdong branch have formed a strategic alliance and have signed a cooperative agreement.
Under the agreement, Carrefour will introduce China Unicom's WO brand 3G experience stores in its 16 outlets in five cities in the Pearl River Delta area. These stores will provide services such as 3G personal services, invoice printing, and new mobile phone number opening for users of China Unicom Guangdong.
According to Luo Yasen, procurement director for Carrefour South China, this is the first time for Carrefour to cooperate with a Chinese telecom operator. If the cooperation is successful, Carrefour will expand the new value-added services to all Carrefour stores across China.
Luo also said that China Unicom's advantages and investments in 3G businesses will help Carrefour increase its share in China's mobile phone retail market.
In addition, rumors from the signing ceremony were that China Unicom has bought five million WCDMA-based iPhone handsets from Apple for CNY10 billion and the first batch of these products will be launched in China Unicom's 3G stores in Carrefour and some of its own business halls in September 2009.
However, China Unicom's spokesperson told local media that the company has not reached any agreement with Apple and before the signing of the final agreement everything is uncertain.