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China Unicom first-half profit jumps 26 per cent on higher mobile Internet revenue, lower fees

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HONG KONG - State-owned phone company China Unicom said Thursday its first-half profit jumped on higher mobile data revenue and lower fees to connect to a rival's network.

Unicom posted profit of 6.7 billion yuan ($843 million) in the January-June period, 26 per cent higher than the same period the year before.

Revenue from third- and fourth-generation phone services grew 33 per cent to 54.4 billion yuan. That helped push overall revenue up 3.6 per cent to 149.6 billion yuan.

Fees incurred to connect to other networks fell 23 per cent to 7.6 billion yuan.

Unicom is China's second-largest wireless carrier by subscribers, which rose by 14 million to 295 million during the first half.

The company and China's two other major state-owned phone companies, China Mobile and China Telecom, are locked in fierce competition as they invest heavily in rolling out fourth-generation technology.

In response to competition, Unicom said it spent 24 billion yuan on sales and marketing, 17 per cent more than the same period last year.

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