China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has awarded MVNO licenses to 11 companies, including a unit of e-commerce major Alibaba.
Alibaba has confirmed to the media that subsidiary HiChina has received an MVNO license from the ministry, but is not yet providing further details.
In May, the ministry issued an edict requiring the nation's three mobile operators – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – to partner with at least two private MVNO brands by the end of the year.
The 11 selected companies will be granted MVNO licenses as part of a two-year trial, as first announced in January last year.
The MVNO project forms part of the Chinese government's efforts to open the nation's telecom industry up to private sector participation.
Other successful applicants include Telling Telecommunication Holding, Beijing Bewinner Communications and Lianlian.com, the Vancouver Sunreported.