BEIJING -(Dow Jones)- AT&T Inc. (T) would welcome regulatory changes to boost competition in China and other markets in Asia, and it would review boosting its stake in its joint venture in China if regulations changed to allow it, Bernard Yee, the company's vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, said Friday.
"We would welcome any regulation, regulatory movement that would introduce further competition" in Asian markets, Yee said in an interview. He declined to name specific areas where AT&T hopes to see regulatory changes.
The remarks come as industry groups and officials from the U.S. and other countries push China to adopt more market reforms. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke last week urged China to further open its markets to help address trade imbalances between it and the U.S.
AT&T has a 25% stake in a telecom services joint venture in China named Shanghai Symphony Telecommunications Co., also called Unisiti. China Telecom Corp. has a 60% stake in the joint venture, and Shanghai Information Investment Inc. a 15% stake, which was launched commercially in 2002.
When asked if AT&T would like to increase its stake in the joint venture, Yee said: "That's governed by regulatory (rules), so if the regulatory environment changed a bit, we would review that."
Yee said AT&T's revenue in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan grew 22% last year. He declined to provide a specific amount.
Yee said AT&T has about 1,500 employees in the Asia-Pacific region excluding India and is adding staff in the application services area, but declined to give a target headcount.
Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires