E-commerce giant Alibaba's telecommunication subsidiary, HiChina Web Solutions (Beijing), has secured an operating licence to offer mobile telecommunications services in China.
China's telecom regulator had awarded licenses to 11 private companies, allowing them to lease wireless capacity from the nation's existing carriers - China Mobile, China Unicom (Hong Kong) and China Telecom.
The move is part of a two-year trial to boost competitionin the country.
Telling Telecommunication Holding, Beijing Bewinner Communications, JD.com and Lianlian.com are some of the other firms that have also won the licenses.
The companies will lease mobile services from state-run telecom providers and offer them as their own with different discounts and mobile data packages combined with purchase of items like smartphones.
JD.com will begin offering mobile communications services in the second quarter of next year and use new and existing customers "to help us become China's fourth-largest mobile carrier within five years," The Wall Street Journal quoted JD.com vice chairman Zhao Guoqing as saying.