Taiwan-headquartered Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known by its trading name Foxconn, has applied to set up a mobile network virtual operator (MNVO) in mainland China, aiming to provide mobile information services, Shanghai’s China Business News reports, citing Zou Xueyong, secretary-general of the China Industry Alliance.
Foxconn is applying for the license via an internet company in Shenzhen. Foxconn is one of 10 companies chosen by China Telecom as its third-round partners for MNVOs, a list that also includes Lenovo.
After obtaining a 4G license in Taiwan in October last year, Foxconn in May this year acquired a 14.99% stake in Asia Pacific Telecom, Taiwan’s fourth-largest telecom operator, for NT$11.6 billion (US$389 million).
An unnamed Foxconn executive had previously said the company aims to provide a complete solution and one-stop service for mobile internet, including private cloud, app stores, apps, app terminals, carrier set meals, and funds logistics platform.
But one unnamed source close to Foxconn said the company should target the Internet of Things.
Foxconn does not wish to become a telecom operator but rather it hopes to enter the industry via cooperation or forging alliances and integrating related industries, the source said.
Foxconn’s plan is similar to the model of Xiaomi Box, which links to the internet via terminals, and making terminals is exactly what Foxconn is good at, the report said.
As Beijing still forbids foreign funds to be directly invested in the telecom industry, Foxconn must carry out its plans via cooperation with a local partner, Zou said.
According to Foxconn’s financial report published in May, in the first quarter the company’s revenue reached NT$883.5 billion (US$29.5 billion), up 9% from the same period a year earlier, with net profits at NT$19.83 billion (US$662 million), up 21% from a year ago.
Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou said at a recent shareholders’ meeting that the group this year aims to transform itself from a technology manufacturing firm into a technology service company, entering an ecosystem war from its previous hardware brand war.
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