(Yicai Global) Jan. 24 -- China United Network Communications, one of the country's major telecom carriers, will elect a new board ahead of schedule with more than half of non-independent nominees coming from its strategic investors which include China's four biggest internet firms.
Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and JD.com Inc., collectively known as BATJ, are set for boardroom representation at the Beijing-based phone carrier, better known as China Unicom, it said in a press briefing yesterday.
The inclusion of non-independent directors from strategic directors in its board makeup is part of China Unicom's efforts to accelerate its mixed ownership restructuring. The number of directors will be increased from seven to 13 this time, comprising five nominees for independent directors and eight for non-independent directors.
The four candidates from BATJ companies are Baidu Chairman Robin Li, Alibaba Senior Vice-President Hu Xiaoming, Tencent Senior Vice-President Lu Shan and JD Chief Strategy Officer Liao Jianwen. Three of the other candidates have China Unicom backgrounds, with Yin Zhaojun, vice-president of China Life Insurance Co. rounding off the list.
China Unicom announced its reform plan for diversified ownership last August, with a number of external investors set to subscribe to 9 billion non-public offered new shares, and purchase a further 1.9 billion shares the parent company. After completing reform, China Unicom Group's share-holding ratio will decline from 62.74 percent to 37.7 percent.
The carrier is close to completing its diversified ownership reform. Tencent, Baidu, JD and Alibaba held 5.33 percent, 3.39 percent, 2.42 percent and 2.09 percent stakes, respectively, as of the end of October.