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China Deal ‘No Deal’, Says Digicel

SYDNEY: Jamaica-based mobile phone carrier Digicel Group has denied an Australian newspaper report that it is planning to sell its Pacific unit to state-owned China Mobile for as much as $900 million. 

The report had set off alarm bells in Australia, as Digicel operates in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tahiti. According to a Reuters report, sale of the Pacific’s largest mobile phone carrier to a Chinese state-owned company would be a major cause of concern for the Australian Government.

However a Digicel exec yesterday said: “We can categorically state there is no basis to this whatsoever and that no approach has been made to us.

Reuters noted that Digicel has a dominant market share in PNG and plans to use the new Coral Sea submarine cable from Sydney  – which was constructed with funding from the Australian Government – to expand data services there.

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