The 2014 All-China Research Team: Telecommunications, No. 2: Haofei Chen
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The 2014 All-China Research Team: Telecommunications, No. 2: Haofei Chen

< The 2014 All-China Research TeamHaofei ChenChina International Capital Corp.First-place appearances: 3

Total appearances: 5

Analyst debut: 2010Although Haofei Chen falls to second place on this list — after having claimed the No. 1 position for three straight years — and slips from third place to runner-up on the Internet roster, the China International Capital Corp. researcher retains a loyal following. He wins plaudits from one admirer for being “an exceptionally thoughtful analyst who is able to provide insights into the many political factors influencing telecommunications.” Another money manager particularly lauds Chen for his anticonsensus call on China Mobile, which “gave us another angle to view the telecoms giant,” the client says. Chen is advising investors to sell China Mobile, which is the country’s largest wireless services provider, by revenue. He describes the Hong Kong–headquartered company as “a huge monopoly” that is allocating 200 billion yuan ($32.6 billion) annually for capital expenditures to upgrade to fourth-generation capabilities — twice as much as the No. 2 and No. 3 providers, China Unicom (Hong Kong) and China Telecom Corp., combined. China Mobile is spending a lot “to maintain and even strengthen its monopoly position, which is dangerous,” contends Chen, who works out of both Beijing and Hong Kong. He maintains neutral ratings on Hong Kong’s China Unicom and Beijing’s China Telecom — and believes that China Unicom is a good candidate for reorganization, in the possible form of a sale to a private equity group or an Internet company. “A restructuring is only a possibility. We believe it should happen, as it is the only way to solve the industry imbalance in China and may really boost the efficiency and competitiveness in China’s telecom industry,” Chen concludes.

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