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China Unicom in bid to make Chongqing a $7bn world leader for NFC manufacturing and innovation

A strategic cooperation agreement signed by the mobile network operator and the Chongqing Municipal Government aims to turn the region into a $7bn a year world leader in NFC manufacturing by 2015.

Chongqing

CHONGQING: The municipality, located in south-western China, has a population of 31 million

Mobile network operator China Unicom and the Chongqing Municipal Government have signed a strategic cooperation agreement aimed at making Chongqing the centre of the international near field communication technology industry.

China Unicom, for its part, will make Chongqing the centre of its NFC business and R&D operations as it forges ahead with its plan to roll out a commercial NFC infrastructure across China.

The municipal government, meanwhile, will put into place a series of tax breaks and other benefits for NFC industry suppliers that base themselves in the city and has committed to implementing a range of policies that will actively support China Unicom as it works to build both an NFC and a wider information services infrastructure in the region.

Under the terms of the agreement, China Unicom and the municipal government will also jointly establish an NFC Industry Alliance while China Unicom will establish a research facility specialising in the Internet of Things, will actively promote the use of NFC technology in notebook computers and other related industries and will work towards pulling NFC suppliers towards Chongqing to create an internationally competitive industry cluster that, by 2015, could be generating total revenues of as much as 50 billion yuan ($7bn approx) each year.

Overall, the deal will see China Unicom investing a total of 10 billion yuan (US$1.47bn approx) in Chongqing over the next five years, enabling the city to build a leadership position in the information industry in general as well as NFC in particular, with much of the initial investment expected to be spent on the creation of a 3G W-CDMA network designed to support the municipal government’s plan to create an overall ‘Smart Chongqing’ infrastructure.

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