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China Tel gets busy Down Under

Sets up shop in Sydney ... very quietly

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The world's largest fixed carrier, China Telecom, has quietly opened shop in Australia. The Australian branch of China Telecom formally launched operations in Sydney in mid-June.

The strategic regional expansion to Australia follows an aggressive extension of reach via new points of presence in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam.

"The branch will help the company well cooperate with telecom operators in Australia and the Asia-Pacific market," said China Telecom (Hong Kong) International CEO Deng Xiaofeng.

Deng visited Sydney and opened the office on June 15, hosting 150 guests including representatives from Australian governments and Chinese companies.

The NSW government welcomed the foreign investment, with deputy premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner boasting that China Telecommunications "has chosen Australia's global city to establish its presence here and for its expansion into Oceania."

China Telecom said that it expected to create 10 jobs initially in its Sydney office, where it will service its multinational corporate via a range of data and internet services.

The company says it will work with carriers in Australia to develop services, as well as providing international connectivity from Australia to China.

China Telecom told The Register it will provide IP transit, MPLS-based VPN services, private leased line resale, and managed data networks.

"Sydney's highly skilled ICT workforce is one of the reasons we chose the city. We also appreciate the strong financial services sector here and the commitment to innovation and education," Deng said.

In September, China Telecom announced that it would invest around HK$200m to build internet data centres (IDCs) in Hong Kong and Singapore and was looking at developed markets such as Japan and Australia to invest in next.

"The company will provide better services to Australian companies as well as multinational companies that have a plan to stretch out reach to the Chinese market. While the branch, based on the company's rich international network resource, will attach more importance to international telecom business via launching premium personalised services," Deng added.

According to China Telecom's company filing with ASIC, the local subsidiary was registered in early February and includes Deng as a director along with Steven Tan Xu, executive director and executive vice president at China Telecom, acting as a director of the local entity. The company secretary is listed as Michael Derin.

Derin is also the founder and MD of the Azure Group, a company which offers corporate advisory services in addition to assisting foreign companies set up in Australia. ®

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