Manx Telecom has signed an agreement with China Unicom Global Limited (“CUG”), a subsidiary company owned by China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd, more commonly known as the China Unicom Group, the world’s fourth largest mobile service provider by subscriber base.

Manx Telecom will provide the connectivity to facilitate CUG’s ‘CUniq’ UK mobile and roaming product, following its launch in London on 2 December 2016. CUniq is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) service that will provide both outbound travellers from China, diaspora communities living in the UK and enterprise customers with one SIM card that allows them to have a UK, China and Hong Kong local product along with global roaming across 45 countries and regions.

CUG chose to work with Manx Telecom due to its unique connectivity solutions and strategic partnerships across the globe. Manx Telecom is providing local UK connectivity via its relationship with Telefónica.

The China Unicom Group currently has 350 million mobile subscribers and is expecting to continue its growth plans in China and via its Hong Kong MVNO. There are over one million China to UK visits every year and CUG expects to make major inroads into this market in the coming years. In 2015, 269,631 Chinese residents visited the UK, a 45% increase from the previous year and 12.5million visited a destination in Europe.

Gary Lamb, Chief Executive Officer at Manx Telecom, commented: “We are delighted to have signed a contract with China Unicom Global, one of the world’s largest telecoms companies. This is a major coup for our Global Solutions division, and another indication of our growing reputation in the strongest signal SIMs sector where we are already the UK market leader. We look forward to working closely with China Unicom to make this new partnership a great success.”

Ms Zhou Lisong, Executive Vice-President of CUG, said: “The launch of CUniq is a key component of our international expansion strategy and the result of excellent co-operation between CUG and Manx Telecom. This agreement will allow us to provide customers who are travelling outside our home market with a convenient and reliable way to stay in touch with their family and friends.”

The launch in London was attended by Ms Zhou and more than 200 VIPs and guests, including Mr Zhu Qin, China Embassy Minister in the UK; Mr Michael Charlton, Board Member and General Manager of UK Trade & Investment; Mr. James Weifeng JI, Asia Chief Regional Officer of Telefónica; Mr Jiang Zhengxin, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom; Ms Wang Xiaohua, General Manager of China Unicom (Europe) Operations Limited; and Gary Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of Manx Telecom.