China’s wireless carriers are reporting drops in users as the coronavirus crisis cuts business activity. China Mobile subscriptions fell by more than 8 million over January and February, data on the company’s website show. China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. subscribers fell by 7.8 million in the period, while China Telecom Corp.has said it lost 5.6 million users last month.
Part of the drop could be caused by migrant workers — who often have one subscription for where they work and another for their home region — canceling their work-region account after the virus prevented them from returning to work after the Lunar New Year holidays that began in late January,
said Chris Lane, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
While the drop in users is unusual, the total is small relative to total wireless subscriptions which have risen to a combined 1.6 billion for the three carriers.