China Mobile Surpasses 600 Million Users

China Mobile's customer base is now double the population of the United States. Most of its growth is in the countryside, among lower-income Chinese. They tend to pay less money, and use the cheapest services.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

NPR's business news starts with the world's biggest mobile phone company.

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LOUISE KELLY: China Mobile is the first wireless phone company to surpass 600 million users. Think of it this way: That company's customer base is now double the entire population of the United States. China Mobile is one of three major players in China's mobile phone market, but most of its growth is in the countryside, among lower-income rural Chinese. They tend to pay less money, and use the cheapest services. The company is trying to attract more people to its costlier 3G services.

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