The Company rode on the trend of socio-economic digital transformation, grasped new opportunities, embraced new changes and achieved new development. It has upgraded its corporate strategy to “Strengthen and Solidify, Preserve and Innovate, Integrate and Open” and positions itself as “the national team in the operation and service of digital information infrastructure, the key force in the establishment of Cyber Superpower, Digital China and Smart Society, and the frontline troop in the integration and innovation of digital technologies”. It focuses on five main responsibilities and main businesses, namely “Big Connectivity, Big Computing, Big Data, Big Application and Big Security”, steering on the main course of digital economy at full strength.
In 2021, the Company’s operating results grew steadily with profitability improving rapidly. Total revenue amounted to RMB327.9 billion, representing an increase of 7.9% year-on-year. Service revenue reached RMB296.2 billion, representing an increase of 7.4% year-on-year, up by 3.1 percentage points compared to 2020. Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company amounted to RMB14.4 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.0%, up by 4.7 percentage points compared to 2020. EBITDA reached RMB96.3 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.3%.
In line with increasingly digital, online and integrated 5G consumption, the Company continued to deepen the 5G-driven growth of mobile business value and scale. It insisted on refined operation, deepened precise customer segmentation and accelerated the 5G upgrade of existing users, especially medium and high-end users. It continuously optimised its distribution channels leading to a more robust new channel system with online and offline integration. China Unicom APP was fully revamped and it pioneered “full-range services with a single click”, with monthly active users exceeding 120 million. A new OMO channel system has been basically established. The Company accelerated the innovation and upgrade of basic business products. It adopted a “platform + network + X” basic innovative product strategy and strengthened cooperation on content and privileges. Video Ringtones and Communication Assistant had over 10 million users. In 2021, mobile service revenue reached RMB 164.1 billion, representing an increase of 4.8% year-on-year. The number of mobile billing subscribers recorded a net addition of 11.30 million. Customer value continued to be enhanced, with mobile ARPU reaching RMB 43.9, representing a year-on-year increase of 4.3%. 5G business growth accelerated, with the number of 5G package subscribers reaching 155 million and the penetration rate of 5G package subscribers reaching 48.9%, outperforming the industry average.
Leveraging 5G-led “Three-Gigabit” integration, the Company promoted the development of broadband-mobile integration. The Company adopted “full network integration” strategy encompassing connectivity, platform and applications. It consolidated the foundation of broadband and mobile integration to meet scenario-based, intelligent and diversified consumption demand, systematically promoting the development of broadband and smart home businesses. In Northern China, the Company continued to strengthen its broadband service to drive mobile growth, accelerate the promotion of fibre-to-the-room (FTTR) service and enrich core smart home applications, such as videos and surveillance, driving customer value enhancement. In Southern China, the Company seized new opportunities to accelerate scale breakthrough by driving broadband development with mobile and strengthening broadband-mobile synergy. In 2021, the Company’s fixed-line broadband access revenue reached RMB 44.8 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.2%. Fixed-line broadband subscribers registered a record-high net addition of 8.95 million for the year, reaching a total of 95.05 million. Broadband access ARPU basically remained stable at RMB 41.3. Scale-based value management achieved remarkable results.
The Company seized the new opportunities brought by “Eastern Data and Western Computing” and devoted itself to offering integrated computing network service encompassing “connectivity + sensing + computing + intelligence”. It built a national “5 + 4 + 31 + X” advanced IDC system which was integrated across cloud, network and edge, reasonably distributed, green and centralised. “Unicom Cloud” was fully upgraded to feature cloud native and virtualised dual engines and offer seven scenario-based cloud products including sensing IoT cloud, data storage cloud, smart video cloud, etc. Integrating “Unicom Chain” and AI, the daily processing capacity of the Company’s Big Data platform exceeded 200TB. The number of IoT connections continued to grow as the Company accelerated the transition to integrated IoT “connectivity + non-connectivity” applications. The Company’s IoT market share continued to increase. It actively expanded its presence in the security market and its security products were ready for scale replication. It continuously developed and upgraded standardized solutions for 5G industrial Internet, smart city, healthcare, education and cultural tourism. It strengthened research and development in 5G industry integration standards, expanded the 5G application innovation alliance, and optimised the 5G ecology open platform. In 2021, the revenue of Industry Internet business reached RMB 54.8 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 28.2% and accounting for 18.5% of the overall service revenue. In particular, the revenue of Unicom Cloud amounted to RMB16.3 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 46.3%.
The Company continued to work closely with China Telecom and added 310,000 new 5G base stations in 2021. The total of 5G base stations used by the two companies reached 690,000, creating the world’s largest co-built and co-shared 5G network. The scale of 4G sharing was further expanded, and the number of 4G base stations shared by the two companies reached 660,000. Through the co-build co-share of 4G/5G networks, the Company actively supported the goals of “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality”. It is expected that more than 17.5 billion kWh of electricity can be saved every year while the cumulative carbon dioxide emission savings exceeded 6 million tons. In addition, the two companies have saved more than RMB 210 billion in CAPEX on a cumulative basis. At the same time, the Company is committed to further expanding the depth and breadth of co-build co-share, promoting cooperation and sharing in technological innovation, cloud-network integration such as IDC, and promoting the co-build co-share and co-maintenance of infrastructure and key business platforms such as transmission lines, pipes and fibres, equipment rooms and antennae, DAS, etc.
The Company strived to build new digital information infrastructure capabilities and technological competitive advantages, deepened network innovation and strengthened network support capabilities. The average latency of its backbone network remained industry-leading. It enhanced its multi-cloud ecosystem, enabling automatic connection of the China Unicom Industrial Internet with Unicom Cloud and MEC cloud network. It launched the CUBE-Net 3.0 network system to actively build next-generation digital infrastructure featuring “connectivity + sensing + computing + intelligence”. In 2021, the capital expenditure was RMB69.0 billion.

In 2022, the Company will continue to build premium 5G network, gigabit broadband network, government-enterprise network and computing power network, and promote intelligent network operation, further solidifying the cornerstone of its high-quality development. The CAPEX growth for 2022 is expected to be in line with revenue growth.
The Company attaches great importance to shareholders’ returns. After due consideration of the Company’s sound business development and strong free cash flow, the Board proposed a final dividend for 2021 of RMB0.096 per share. Together with the interim dividend of RMB0.120 per share already distributed, the total dividend for 2021 amounted to RMB0.216 per share, representing a year-on-year increase of 31.7%. Going forward, the Company will continue to strive to enhance its profitability and shareholders’ returns.

The objective of the dividend policy of the Company is to achieve a long-term, sustainable and steadily increasing dividend, with a view to maximising the shareholders’ value. The declaration and payment of future dividends will depend upon, among other things, financial condition, business prospects, future earnings, cash flow, liquidity level and cost of capital. The Company believes such policy will provide the shareholders with a stable return in the long term along with the growth of the Company. Pursuant to the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong) and the Company’s articles of association, the Company may only pay dividends out of profits available for distribution.
Pursuant to the former U.S. President's executive order and the requirements of the New York Stock Exchange LLC (the "NYSE"), the delisting of the Company's American Depositary Shares ("ADSs") took effect on 18 May 2021, and the ADSs Program was terminated on 18 October 2021. Holders of ADSs had the right until the termination date to exchange their ADSs into ordinary shares of the Company in accordance with the terms and conditions of the deposit agreement. The Company's ordinary shares are traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

The Bank of New York Mellon, as the depository for the Company’s ADSs, had commenced the sale of ordinary shares of the Company represented by the remaining ADSs after the Termination Date, and would pay the net cash proceeds, after deducting applicable fees and expenses, to the holders of such remaining ADSs.

The contact details of the Bank of New York Mellon are as follows:

Shareholder Services, P.O. Box 505000, Louisville, KY 40233–5000
1-888-269-2377 (toll free in USA)
1-201-680-6825 (international)
Last updated: 17 March 2022