China throws foreign 3G a bone

China announced specifications for two major global 3G standards – W-CDMA and CDMA 2000 – indicating that it was fine with foreign equipment makers selling gear to Chinese mobile operators. It would be nice, except this grand (if meaningless) gesture seems like a diversionary tactic.

For instance, the specifications for the home grown 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, were issued in January 2006. Secondly, the specifications don’t necessarily mean licenses, which are yet to be issued. In other words, this is a hollow, meaningless exercise, which doesn’t hide the fact that Chinese government, does indeed prefer home grown telecom equipment makers – Huawei and ZTE Corp.

Read the story in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required.)