Reduce digital divide

Help the development of western region

China Unicom actively responds to the “Western Region Development Strategy” of China, implements “The 13th Five-year Plan” for Development of Western Region , and promotes regional coordinative development.

Favourable business policy

In mobile business, China Unicom staffed exclusive and targeted market service managers at branches in the western provinces to take charge of business report and optimisation in those provinces, and offered special approval to business needs proposed by western provincial branches; Some western provincial branches are allowed to offer best data package products to ensure that users in western region can afford data services carefree; Discount products such as targeted data package, holiday data package, idle hours data package and night-time data package are launched according to special needs of users in the western region.

In fixed line business, China Unicom accelerated speed of transformation of fibre optic broadband, speeding up services for users with bandwidth lower than 10M, and lowered the price of broadband products of 20Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps, while speeding up service for copper cable user from below 4Mbps to 4Mbps or higher for free.

Investment in network construction

In 2016, China Unicom continued to strengthen telecommunication network infrastructure construction in western region, and completed a RMB12 billion investment in fixed asset; the Company preliminarily realised continuous coverage of 4G network in cities, counties, towns and administrative villages with population aggregation; the proportion of ports at 20M or above in cities reached 82%, and ports at 8M or above in rural areas reached 99%. China Unicom built two large-scale data centers in Hohhot and Gui’an, two cloud computing resource pools in Guangxi and Ningxia, and expanded three cloud computing resource pools in Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Chongqing.

Benefit remote areas

China Unicom actively provides general communication services in rural and remote areas, and allows more farmers to use the Internet by expanding effective coverage of fibre optic broadband network and 4G network in rural areas so as to help poverty alleviation.

Strengthen network coverage

China Unicom actively participated in the pilot work of telecommunication general service in 2016, and undertook broadband access tasks for 12,146 administrative villages in 17 provinces with a total investment of RMB1.7 billion; it finished launching of projects in 9,487 administrative villages, finished construction in 4,489 administrative villages and built 620,000 ports.

China Unicom Guizhou Branch echoed to the requirements of national broadband strategy and targeted poverty alleviation, and undertook broadband construction projects for general communication service in Guiyang and Anshun. In Guiyang, 48 administrative villages were newly built broadband and 223 administrative villages were upgraded broadband; whereas in Anshun, 199 administrative villages were newly built broadband and 205 administrative villages were upgraded broadband.

Build service channels

As of end of 2016, the number of self-owned stores below county-level reached 13,300, of which 10,200 are township stores, accounting for 49%, basically achieved one store in one town in Northern China. The number of channels in rural and remote poverty-stricken areas reached 260,000.

Discount tariff packages

Local branches of various regions launched hometown card and Spring Festival card to meet the communication needs of farmers and migrant workers while they work in cities and return home; various combined packages were launched for various consumer groups to enjoy 4G high speed Internet service with lower communication costs, benefiting various special groups in the society brought by technology advancement.

Develop agricultural informatisation application

China Unicom rolled out a series of informatisation achievements in three agricultural information bases in Jiangxi, Shaanxi and Henan Province. One cloud, two centers and three platforms of smart agriculture built in the Jiangxi Base have all been launched; Shaanxi Base completed construction of Shaanxi Agricultural Data Service Platform, Targeted Agricultural Production Platform and Farmer-benefited Information Platform, and implemented 14 agricultural informatisation projects; Henan Base designed and developed “Henan Agricultural Products Traceability Platform” and “Henan E-commerce in Rural Area”, which are highly recognised by experts from Henan Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences and leaders of Henan Provincial Department of Agriculture.

China Unicom Liaoning Branch strived to push forward “Internet+ rural area” construction, invested over RMB3 million to build province-wide e-commerce access platform in rural areas, and invested RMB2.7 million to build three level service outlets, namely county, township and village, and three-level logistics outlets in Qingyuan county for rural e-commerce operators so that people in rural areas can enjoy the convenience of online shopping. On one hand, quality commodities can be bought at low price to reduce living and production costs of farmers; on the other hand, quality and sideline agricultural products can be sold to increase the incomes of farmers.

China Unicom Shandong Branch launched the first “Beautiful Village” integrated information service platform in Shandong Province, which includes four segments and over 160 functions, covering five-level organisations of province, city, county, township and village. The platform serves entry-level government staff, grower/breeding farmers in rural areas, and village-run enterprises, and features the functions of administrative management, information consulting, e-commerce, and leisure and entertainment. For users using the “Beautiful Village” app, China Unicom Shandong Branch also launched high data flow and low price products for users to participate in activities such as trade-in old for new smartphone with RMB1,000, as well as purchase mobile phone with a discount. The number of registered users of “Beautiful Village” has already exceeded 100,000.

Serve special groups of people

China Unicom has always been concerned about the communication needs of ethnic minorities and the disabled, and strives to offer lower pricing and more handy services to bring benefits and convenience to them.

Serve ethnic minorities

Exclusive informatisation service product “WO•Deji” is launched for people in Tibetan area in Qinghai, and customised the first Tibetan 4G mobile terminal in Qinghai to solve language and wording issues which restricted Tibetan users from enjoying mobile Internet services. In addition, China Unicom Qinghai Branch adds customer service personnel speaking Tibetan, and records Tibetan self-service guiding system to provide business consulting and handling services to Tibetan users. The self-service of the special Tibetan hotline has been used over 100,000 times on average per month, and hotline satisfaction improved 5PP compared to the beginning of the year.

China Unicom Xinjiang Branch launched dedicated smart phone for “Xinhua News Service Uyghur News Customer Terminal”. The most prominent characteristic of the terminal is the ability to convert to voice-reading mode by one click, so that ethnic minorities who cannot read Uyghur words would be able to easily understand various kind of information. “WO•Qiaxiu” is launched dedicated for Kazakhstan minorities, so as to bring benefits and convenience to Kazakhstan minorities through lower pricing, and thus pushing forward ethnic informatisation development.

Mongolian smart phone is launched in Inner Mongolia, and the left vertical Mongolian typesetting mode and people-benefiting price are well accepted by herdsmen. Information including abundant farmer-benefited and herd-benefited policies, as well as market demand, venture and employment, and weather services, all have brought more convenience to the production and life of the grassroots farmers and herdsmen.

Serve the disabled

  • Set disabled-only customer service counter in store, and open dedicated fast track for the disabled;
  • Waive the one-off costs for the disabled, introduce annual broadband discount package, and provide broadband expert service and others;
  • Some provincial branches launched “Love Card” package to provide discount for voice and SMS services to persons with visual, hearing, speech and language impairment; Meanwhile, the costs of the Love Card will be waived, as home delivery services will be provided for the disabled users.

China Unicom Shanghai Branch provides fixed line voice discount for people with visual impairment. People above 16 years old with visual impairment can enjoy 810 times (first three minutes counted as twice, and each minute thereafter will be counted as once for each calling) fixed line local voice services by paying a fixed monthly fee of RMB25.

China Unicom Fuzhou Branch launches discount package and caring services to the disabled in the entire city. It provides discount package to over 20,000 deaf-mutes, organises full-time team members to carry out field service in municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation on weekends, and invites sign-language teachers to help communication. Currently, it has carried out seven performances and served over 300 deaf-mutes. This was highly recognised by Fuzhou Disabled Persons’ Federation and the disabled. Chairman of Fuzhou Disabled Persons’ Federation said that, “China Unicom Fuzhou Branch not only generously responded to the call of government to care the disabled, but also provided discount package to the disabled. Such caring acts deeply touched us, and showed China Unicom’s great practice of social responsibilities”.