The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- China Unicom ( CHU) is the exclusive official carrier of the iPhone in China. With smartphone penetration as low as 15% in the country, the company provides heavy subsidies on the mobile handsets that it sells. The aim is to create a class of mid- and low-end smartphone users and attempt to increase mobile data usage. A provider of both mobile and landline services in China, the company hopes to leverage upon its integrated services offerings and gain competitive advantage. The company faces stiff competition from China Mobile ( CHL) in the mobile services segment and from China Telecom ( CHA) in its mobile and landline segments. The present structure of the company emerged after the restructuring in the Chinese telecom industry in 2008. The company sold off its CDMA business to China Telecom and the remaining company was merged with China Netcom to form China Unicom. See our complete analysis of China Unicom stock
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