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Nokia Preps JV Future in China

Ray Le Maistre

As part of its planned €15.6 billion (US$17.6 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia is to merge its business unit in China with Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell. (See Nokia Makes €15.6B Bid for Alcatel-Lucent.)

The move will create a new joint venture with annual revenues (in 2014) of €4.5 billion ($5 billion) that will be half-owned by China Huaxin, a Chinese government company with which Nokia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The resulting company will compete with the likes of Huawei and ZTE, as well as the local operating unit of Ericsson, for the high-value network expansion and upgrade contracts awarded by China's three main operators, which are undergoing some upheaval themselves. (See All Change in China? and ZTE Profits Rise on China's 4G Boom.)

For the latest key development from around Asia-Pacific, check out our dedicated Asia content channel here on Light Reading.

Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell is a long-standing joint venture between AlcaLu and state-owned China Huaxin, in which Alcatel-Lucent owns 50% plus one share. In 2014, it generated revenues of nearly €3.1 billion ($3.5 billion).

Once Nokia has completed its acquisition of AlcaLu, it has agreed to fold its Nokia China business unit, which generated revenues of nearly €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2014, into Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell to create a new joint venture with China Huaxin called Nokia Shanghai Bell, in which Nokia will own 50% plus one share.

Nokia says it will receive unspecified "fair value compensation" for adding its "relevant assets" to the joint venture.

With China's three major operators investing heavily in fixed and mobile broadband access networks, there are significant deals to be won. Separately, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell have been winning decent business in China during the past year. (See AlcaLu Lands $1B+ Deals in China, AlcaLu Lands 'Top 3' 4G Deal at China Telecom and Nokia Sees Off Non-Chinese Rivals for China Telecom 4G Work.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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8/31/2015 | 3:20:59 AM
Where does RFS fit in?
Does anyone know where RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), also known as Cablewave Systems in the US, fits into the Nokia deal? RFS is somehow linked to Shanghai Bell in China and has been part of Alcatel for some time, so I wonder if Nokia is now in the antenna, RF filter and feeder cable business?    
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané
8/30/2015 | 3:59:39 PM
Re: Nokia
Daniel, maybe you are still talking about Nokia Devices division, which was sold to Microsoft, when saying that Nokia is not doing well? Because, this deal in China involves Nokia Networks, which is doing very well. -Susan
8/28/2015 | 10:30:05 AM
It seems that Nokia would really need this deal more than the Chinese do. Let's face it: Nokia is not doing well. I think they can figure things out, but they are a long way from when they were the cellphone of choice for people. 
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