CHL already has 384 million subscribers, making it the largest telecom company in the world. Furthermore, growing population and accessibility of technology given the rise of the middle class in China brings in more subscribers. Additionally, at the World Economic Forum in 2009, Chairman Wang Jianzhou said that CHL is still growing despite the global recession and is currently looking at acquisitions. Cash-strapped companies can be bought even cheaper during recessions, so this bodes well for CHL's expansion plans. As a result, CHL may actually grow and strengthen during the recession and be in a significant competitive advantage when the economy regains strength.
3G network, premium value added services fueled with iPhone penetration rakes in better revenues than traditional voice subscriptions. Furthermore, CHL won 13% government subsidies on handsets in February 2009 in an effort to expand consumption into rural areas, which will further boost CHL's product absorption in the country. Lastly, CHL and its two closest rivals plan to invest about $58.5 billion on 3G network infrastructure over the next three years in a move that will hopefully heighten mobile usership across China.