China is considering further opening its telecom market by granting private virtual telecom operators formal commercial licenses, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced Wednesday.
The draft decision came after over four years of pilot practices in 29 provincial regions by 42 private firms.
Starting 2013, qualified virtual telecom operators can resell mobile communications services to introduce their own brand of telecom services through leased telecom operator's networks and facilities or other forms of cooperation.
The pilot practices have served more than 60 million users and attracted private investment worth 3.2 billion yuan (50 million U.S. dollars).
The formal commercial licenses are open to all qualified market players, including foreign-invested firms, according to Chen Jiachun, a senior official with the MIIT.
The MIIT will enhance market regulation to ensure information security and protect user rights, Chen added.