China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world, has registered its brand in Chile, provoking rumors that it may expand services to Latin America. China Mobile has over 849 million mobile subscribers and is already operating in Brazil. Last year, the telecom provider purchased an office in São Paulo to be used as their Latin American headquarters.
According to El Mercurio, China Mobile’s brand registration was denied last year, but the decision was reversed by another Tribunal to allow the registration to pass. This is not China Mobile’s first incursion into a Chilean investment; during Chile Week 2016 in Guangzhou, China Mobile expressed interest in participating in the now-defunct project to extend fiber-optic lines in Chilean Patagonia.
There is also talk of a plan to connect Chile and China through an underground “digital bridge” to improve internet speeds and connectivity between the two countries. China Mobile declined to comment on their plans to establish themselves in Chile.
China Mobile’s expansion is part of a series of Chinese investments in Latin America that have spurred programs like the Sino-Latin American Accelerator launched by Magma Partners this year to help improve business relations between the two regions.