China Mobile 230One month decline amidst competition may be a statistical artifact. Update: 500K adds in Jan 2018

In December 2017, China Unicom fell from 77,503M to 76,539 broadband customers. That's still the third highest in the world, three times as much as Comcast.

Competition is a natural explanation. China Mobile has been adding ~3M/month for the last six months and 35M on the year. China Telecom added 660K in December and 10.4M for the year. China Telecom now has ~150M subs and China Mobile 113M. Nearly all (>90%) at CT & CM are on fiber all the way home. 

China has > 800M LTE subscriptions, with many of the 200M 3G customers soon to migrate. LTE speeds are often 50-150 megabits. It's inevitable that some people will go wireless only; 5M have chosen wireless for convenience in Japan even though fiber was available. But China Mobile and China Telecom continue to grow rapidly. 

China Unicom has been struggling and the government has required Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu to invest >$10B. They are expected to revitalize the company.

On the other hand, the drop could also be a side effect of an audit or some other temporary factor. AT&T once had a disastrous quarter in broadband figures. On closer examination, it turned out to be a bookkeeping problem. They hadn't been subtracting the customers who canceled service for more than a year and eventually had to come clean.

 

 

China Telecom

Wireline Broadband Subscribers
Unit: Million Wireline Broadband Subscribers Net Increase for the Month Cumulative Net Increase for the Year 
Dec 2017 133.53 0.66 10.41
Nov 2017 132.87 0.73 9.75
Oct 2017 132.14 0.83 9.02
Sep 2017 131.31 1.54 8.19
Aug 2017 129.77 0.80 6.65
Jul 2017 128.97 0.87 5.85
Jun 2017 128.10 0.81 4.98
May 2017 127.29 0.76 4.17
Apr 2017 126.53 0.71 3.41
Mar 2017 125.82 0.97 2.70
Feb 2017 124.85 0.82 1.73
Jan 2017 124.03 0.91 0.91
Dec 2016 123.12 0.89 10.06

 

China Mobile

China Mobile Broadband 2017
 

 

 Total
Customers
Net Additional
Customers
for the Month
Cumulative Net
Additional Customers
for the Year
Dec 2017 112,687 2,548 35,063
Nov 2017 110,139 3,143 32,515
Oct 2017 106,996 3,571 29,372
Sep 2017 103,425 4,491 25,801
Aug 2017 98,934 3,190 21,310
Jul 2017 95,744 2,703 18,120
Jun 2017 93,041 2,561 15,417
May 2017 90,480 2,406 12,856
Apr 2017 88,074 2,393 10,450
Mar 2017 85,681 2,411 8,057
Feb 2017 83,270 2,691 5,646
Jan 2017 80,579 2,955 2,955