Chinese MNO China Unicom has announced the launch of their UK MVNO, CUniq – a ‘one-card-multiple-number’ service, meaning the SIM card holds a mainland China, Hong Kong and UK number all in one.
Launching with Telefonica UK, the service aims to make it easier for customers travelling between the areas to share data, calls and texts.
Their large domestic role as a Chinese network operator makes China Unicom the fourth largest MNO in the world, with experience from the other side of the MVNO process as an MVNA/MVNE.
The launch of the MVNO was attended by 200 guests including minister Zhu Qin from the Chinese Embassay in London, UK Trade and investment director general Michael Charlton, Telefonica’s Asia chief regional officer Jiang Zhengxin and CUG executive vice president Zhou Lisong. The latter described the launch stating, ‘The launch of "CUniq" enables CUG to offer more convenient services to customers in Europe. Its launch symbolizes accelerating expansion of its international business and marks a milestone for CUG's development of MVNO services in overseas market.’
With the exception of Hong Kong, the UK launch marks the Chinese giant’s first MVNO role, though the company has stated its intention to expand its CUniq SIM to America, Australia and Japan.
Their decision to partner with Telefonica in the UK marks the continuation of CUG and Telefonica S.A’s strategic partnership which has included mutual share ownership and collaborations spanning nearly every area of Telefonica Spain’s operations going back to 2011.