Latest Developments

Operating revenue for 2023 reached RMB1,009.3 billion, or 7.7% growth year-on-year. Of this, telecommunications services revenue accounted for RMB863.5 billion, representing an increase of 6.3% year-on-year and surpassing the industry average. The total number of connections reached 3.35 billion, representing a net addition of 410 million connections. All CHBN markets recorded growth, with HBN revenue accounting for 43.2% of telecommunications services revenue, an increase of 3.4 percentage points year-on-year. Digital transformation revenue increased by 22.2% year-on-year and reached RMB253.8 billion, taking up 29.4% of telecommunications services revenue. Profit attributable to equity shareholders was RMB131.8 billion, an increase of 5.0% year-on-year, and earnings per share were RMB6.16. Our profitability remained in a leading position among top-tier global telecommunications operators. EBITDA was RMB341.5 billion, an increase of 3.7% year-on-year. EBITDA as a percentage of telecommunications services revenue was 39.5%. Capital expenditure totaled RMB180.3 billion, accounting for 20.9% of telecommunications services revenue and decreasing by 1.9 percentage points year-on-year. Free cash flow was RMB123.5 billion, an increase of 29.2% year-on-year.

For the “Customer” market, we furthered the integrated development of data access, applications and customer benefits. The number of 5G customers represented a growing share of our overall customer base resulting from unleashing the synergies between the “Home” and “Business” markets, more precisely targeting customer, scenario and market segments. Moreover, we promoted the upgrade of our benefit superstore to a digital life services platform. We launched the M-zone Mango Card through a joint initiative linking brand operation and ecosystem cooperation. As a result, the scale and value of our “Customer” market continued to form a strong foundation, underscoring its role in offering stability to the Company. In 2023, our “Customer” market revenue reached RMB490.2 billion, up by 0.3% year-on-year. Mobile customers totaled 991 million, with a net addition of 15.99 million customers. In our customer base, 795 million were 5G package customers, representing a net addition of 180 million. The number of customers using our integrated-benefit products reached 330 million, a net addition of 42.76 million customers. The number of monthly active users of our cloud product China Mobile Cloud Drive recorded a net addition of 23.74 million, bringing the total to 190 million, the second largest in the industry. The number of customers using our 5G new voice over high definition video reached 133 million, a net addition of 41.32 million customers – more than 3.07 million of them were subscribers of AI applications. The M-zone Mango Card recorded sales of 11.47 million in the five months since its launch, demonstrating its popularity among young customers. Mobile ARPU (average revenue per user per month) recorded stable and healthy growth, up 0.6% year-on-year to RMB49.3.

For the “Home” market, we aspired to develop a smart home ecosystem featuring full-gigabit network and cloud-based applications by cultivating our leadership in gigabit-driven broadband, content-driven large screens, platform-driven IoT and ecosystem-driven HDICT (home data, information and communications technology, collectively “home informatization solutions”). We proactively developed growth areas in smart home spending and continuously expanded the scenarios for smart home solutions. Our “Home” market maintained favorable growth, and we remained steadfast in our commitment to a stable and lasting business approach that focuses on value. In 2023, our “Home” market revenue reached RMB131.9 billion, up 13.1% year-on-year. The number of household broadband customers reached 264 million, or a net increase of 20.12 million customers. In terms of net increase, we have held our industry leadership for multiple consecutive years. Gigabit broadband customers accounted for 30.0% of our household broadband customer base, an increase of 14.3 percentage points from the end of 2022. Our mobile HD customer base reached 207 million while the number of customers for smart home network deployment and home security increased by 36.7% and 40.5% respectively year-on-year. Customers for the HDICT solutions grew to 29.21 million, bringing the revenue contribution from household value-added business to 25.6% of the “Home” market revenue. Household customer blended ARPU increased by 2.4% year-on-year to RMB43.1.

For the “Business” market, we focused our efforts on the integrated development of network, cloud and DICT (data, information and communications technology), consistently enhancing industry insights, system planning, product innovation, and support and delivery capabilities in order to establish an innovative operation system that is standardized and product-driven for effective management of platform-based solutions. As a result, our “Business” market sustained rapid growth and continued to be a key driver of incremental revenue. In 2023, “Business” market revenue reached RMB192.1 billion, up 14.2% year-on-year. Our corporate customer base reached 28.37 million, a net increase of 5.17 million. We proactively formulated plans to tap into the blue-ocean informatization market, focusing on nine key industries and delivering more effective end-to-end industry solutions. Our growing influence in the market was evident in a higher share of contracts won in open tenders in 2023. Our share topped the industry, amounting to 14.3% or an increase of 3.0 percentage points year-on-year. China Mobile Cloud comfortably maintained its position as a top-tier player among domestic cloud services providers, with revenue reaching RMB83.3 billion, an increase of 65.6% year-on-year. Revenue from our proprietary capabilities increased by over 100% year-on-year, with IaaS+ PaaS revenue share ranked top five in the industry. We continued to advance the integration between cloud on one hand and network, edge computing, data, intelligence and security on the other hand, making solid steps toward our goal of becoming an industry leader in this area. Our ability to use 5G to empower digital transformation across industries continued to be pre-eminent. Throughout 2023, we signed 15,000 5G industry commercialization cases, an increase of 22.4% over the previous year. The contract value of our 5G DICT projects signed during 2023 reached RMB47.5 billion, or a year-on-year increase of 30.1%; 5G dedicated network revenue amounted to RMB5.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 113.1%. We maintained our leadership in several industry segments including smart mining, smart factories, smart grid, smart hospitals, smart city and autonomous driving. In the “To V” market, we expanded both the scale and capability of our Internet of Vehicles (IoV) market by entering partnerships with all of the Top 10 best-selling new energy vehicle brands in China, boasting the largest market share among telecommunications operators. High-precision positioning services recorded a cumulative deployment of more than 1,000 billion times. We have jointly launched the largest scale nationwide lane-level navigation application. In the “To G” market, alongside a growing impact, we have accumulated capabilities in digital government and demonstrated significant exemplary effects with benchmark projects at the provincial and municipal levels. Throughout 2023, we implemented more than 2,000 projects by deploying our public administration informatization solutions.

For the “New” market, its role as the Company’s growth driver was underscored by its increased contribution to the Company’s incremental revenue, across international business, equity investment, digital content and FinTech. This was achieved by focusing on upscaling, efficiency enhancement and brand building. In 2023, our “New” market revenue reached RMB49.3 billion, up 28.2% year-on-year. In terms of international business, we deepened the synergies between international and domestic markets by quickening the export of outstanding products and 5G solutions to serve the high-quality co-construction of the “Belt and Road”. We also upgraded our overseas digital infrastructure and bolstered international ecosystem collaboration. Our international business revenue reached RMB20.7 billion, up 24.2% year-on-year. In terms of equity investment, we optimized the two-pronged approach of direct investment and investing through funds to actively create a family of businesses to drive ecosystem expansion in the mobile information industry. We continued to foster a partnership system featuring the China Mobile model through industry investment and ecosystem partnerships that amplified the function of capital in connecting and empowering the ecosystem. In terms of digital content, we made every effort to strengthen the integration of content, technology and innovation, refining core products such as MIGU Video while expanding into new areas such as VR/AR, cloud games and the metaverse. The annual revenue of our digital content business reached RMB28.0 billion, growth of 31.6% year-on-year. The monthly active users for cloud games across all platforms reached 120 million, the largest user base in the industry. In terms of FinTech, driven by data mining and scenario empowerment, we continuously promoted the rapid development of financial services throughout the industry value chain, achieving an annual business scale of RMB76.6 billion. Through the creation of an all-in-one digital consumption portal across all platforms, “and-Wallet” monthly active customers grew by 51.8% year-on-year.

In 2023, our capital expenditure totaled approximately RMB180.3 billion. In 2024, we expect total capital expenditure to stand at approximately RMB173.0 billion, which will be spent primarily on areas including enhancing our leadership in connection perception, accelerating computility development, building out more intensive and effective capabilities, improving infrastructure planning and expansion, and supporting CHBN business development. Of this, capital expenditure for 5G network will amount to approximately RMB69.0 billion, which will be funded mainly from cash flow from operating activities.

The Board recommends a dividend payout ratio of 71% for the full year of 2023. It also recommends a final dividend payment of HK$2.40 per share for the year ended 31 December 2023. Together with the interim dividend already paid, total dividend for the full year of 2023 amounted to HK$4.83 per share, an increase of 9.5% from that of 2022. To create higher returns for our shareholders and share the results of our growth, after giving full consideration to the Company’s profitability, cash flow generation and future development needs, in the three-year period from 2024, the profit to be distributed in cash for each year will gradually increase to above 75% of the profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company for that year. The Company will strive to create more value for shareholders.

We will fully, accurately and comprehensively align with the new development paradigm. We will pursue stable progress while forging ahead with a steadfast focus on integrity and innovation. We will enhance core functions, improve core competitiveness and fully implement the “1-2-2-5” strategy and relentlessly solidify our position as a world-class “Powerhouse”. We will strive to promote digital intelligence transformation and high quality development. Building upon the foundation of deepening the implementation of the “Two New Elements” (new information infrastructure and new information services system), we will comprehensively propel the “BASIC6” sci-tech innovation plan, reinforce strategic planning for “AI+”, develop new quality productive forces at an accelerated pace, and establish ourselves as a world-class information services and sci-tech innovation enterprise to a high standard. In doing so, we strive to achieve favorable growth in revenue and net profit to consistently create greater value for our shareholders and customers.

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