One company, half a billion cellphones

One out of every 12 humans on the planet is a China Mobile customer. Can you hear them now?

By Andrew Leonard
Published September 22, 2009 2:01PM (EDT)

In the category of numbers that give one pause: China Mobile announced that it had signed up its 500 millionth subscriber.

As a yardstick, consider that the largest wireless phone operator in the United States, Verizon, boasts a mere 86.6 million subscribers.

Or think of it this way. The current world population is around 6.7 billion. So about 8 percent of the humans living on the planet are China Mobile customers.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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China How The World Works