Company logos of China Unicom are displayed at a news conference during the company's announcement of its annual results in Hong Kong, China March 16, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

China Unicom, one of the three big state-owned telecommunication operators in China, has expanded its board to 13 members from seven members, and introduced four non-independent directors from Internet giant firms, The Paper reported.

China Unicom has been the pioneer in mixed ownership reform of state-owned enterprises. Thus, it has taken the first step to introduce strategic investors from private enterprises to the board.

It includes executives from Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com, collectively known as BATJ, the four big Internet companies in China.

Lu Shan, the senior executive vice president of Tencent; Li Yanhong, the chairman and CEO of Baidu; Liao Jianwen, the chief strategy officer of JD.com; and Hu Xiaoming, the senior vice president of Alibaba are counted as board members. As well as Yin Zhaojun, the vice president of China Life Insurance Company.

The remaining non-independent directors are from state-owned enterprises.

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