Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

As the global race to roll out 5G networks ensues, two of China’s top three telecoms service providers are reportedly looking to team up, a move that would help them shore up resources for the development of new networks.

Top officials in Beijing are reviewing the proposed merger between China Unicom and China Telecom, Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning, citing people familiar with the matter.

Should the deal be approved, the new entity would boast the second-largest subscriber base in the world, behind China Mobile.

Shares of both companies jumped on the news.

In a separate article, Bloomberg noted that the proposed merger follows a similar effort by T-Mobile to merge with Sprint in the US. In the pitch given to the US government, T-Mobile pledged to invest US$40 billion in a 5G network to reach 90% of the US population within the next five years.

Given the emphasis placed by Washington on competition with China, would a successful megamerger in China give US authorities a reason to green light such a deal at home?