Alibaba, others pump billions into new China operator

Alibaba, others pump billions into new China operator

China Broadcasting Network (CBN) was tipped to use a swell of fresh funding to kickstart a delayed 5G network rollout, Global Times reported.

Alibaba was among 47 investors which committed a total of CNY101 billion ($14.7 billion) to the company in a funding round closed on 26 August. Global Times stated the e-commerce giant committed CNY10 billion for a 9.88 per cent stake in CBN, an investment matched by China’s national electricity company State Grid.

CBN parent China Radio and Television Network earmarked CNY51.6 billion for a 51 per cent stake, with provincial broadcast networks also participating, the newspaper stated.

The company received a 5G licence in June 2019, with spectrum holdings of 80MHz in 700MHz band and 100MHz in the 4.9GHz band. It received a green light to deploy a network in the latter band earlier this year, at the time committing CNY250 million to launch services in 16 cities.

But local media stated funding issues delayed this.

It signed signed a network sharing and construction deal with China Mobile in May, which brought access the market leader’s 2.6GHz spectrum, funding and expertise.


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