(Yicai Global) Aug. 2 -- China United Network Communications Ltd. (China Unicom) [SHA:600050], whose shares have been suspended from trading since April due to a proposed reform that would allow private investors to back the state-run firm, may announce its mixed ownership plans this month.
About 20 companies, including two of China's biggest internet firms, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] and Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700], are currently in talks with China Unicom, Caijing Magazine reported today. Tencent and Alibaba may become the largest investors among them.
The telecoms group will collaborate with Tencent and Alibaba in Shenzhen, Guangdong province and Hangzhou, Zhejiang to set up centers for cooperative e-commerce operations, integrating China Unicom's businesses with those of the other two enterprises and proving a hub for conducting work on product design, event planning and production, Caijing Magazine reported, citing an internal China Unicom document.
China Unicom will choose private investors whose main businesses complement its own for the mixed ownership reform. The share of China Unicom held by private-sector investors will reach between 16 percent and 18 percent.
The National Development and Reform Commission recently approved a mixed ownership pilot program submitted by China Unicom, the company said on July 14.
The group decided to continue suspension of trading for one month from July 17, meaning China Unicom's reform plan could be announced as early as this month.