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China Unicom tightens belt as profits plunge

Dividend payout withheld; capital spending slashed by 38%

China Unicom Chairman Wang Xiaochu at a news conference Wednesday.

HONG KONG -- Struggling to gain a foothold in China's fourth-generation (4G) wireless telecommunication markets, Beijing-based China Unicom reported lackluster results on Wednesday and plans to cut back outlays in preparation for its next move.

The state-owned enterprise said its net profits plunged by more than 94% to 625 million yuan ($90.43 million) last year as revenue slipped 1% and operating costs rose 2%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBIDTA, skidded 9.1% on the year to 79.5 billion yuan.

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