HONG KONG, March 20 China Mobile Ltd
will increase handset subsidies by 26 percent to 34 billion yuan
($5.49 billion) in 2014, said Chief Financial Officer Xue
Taohai, as it aims to keep smartphone contract prices low in the
face of competition from rivals.
Last year China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier
by subscribers, spent 27 billion yuan on handset subsidies.
The company's capital expenditure, which will increase 22
percent to 225.2 billion yuan, will peak in 2014 and 2015 and
begin to decline in 2016, Xue said at a press briefing following
China Mobile's 2013 earnings announcement on Thursday.
The amount China Mobile spends on marketing in 2014 will
remain at the same level as last year, Xue added.
($1 = 6.1965 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Yimou Lee in HONG KONG; Writing by Paul Carsten
in BEIJING; Editing by Matt Driskill)