China Telecom profit down 8.3% as competition heats up, costs increase


BEIJING — China Telecom Ltd., one of the country’s three major state-owned phone carriers, said Wednesday its first-half profit fell 8.3 percent amid intense competition and high technology costs.

The Beijing-based company said it earned 8.8 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion), down from 9.6 billion yuan a year earlier. That was despite a 14.8-percent rise in revenues to 138 billion yuan (US$22 billion).

Chinese phone carriers have been squeezed by intense competition and the high costs of installing new mobile and other technology. China Telecom rival China Mobile Ltd. said last week its first-half profit growth fell to 1.5 percent.

China Telecom rolled out service for Apple Inc.’s iPhone in the first half, which it said would require increased spending on marketing but should “enhance long-term sustainable growth.”