A world-class

information communications infrastructure service provider

Chairman's Statement

Dear Shareholders,

In 2023, China Tower Corporation Limited (the "Company" or "we") firmly focused on its strategic positioning of "One Core and Two Wings" and continued to center its business around sharing, service, innovation, technology, and value creation, establishing an operating system that is professional, intensive, delicate, efficient, and digitalized. We focused on enhancing our core operational capabilities and competitiveness. Our business developments are in line with expectations, resulting in steady growth in our overall performance, reinforced company strengths, and solid progress towards high-quality development.

Financial Performance

The Company's operating revenue maintained stable growth. During the year, our operating revenue grew by 2.0% to RMB94,009 million. EBITDA reached RMB63,551 million, an increase of 1.1% year-on-year, with an EBITDA margin1 of 67.6%. Profit attributable to owners of the Company was RMB9,750 million, representing 11.0% year-on-year growth with a net profit margin of 10.4%, demonstrating further enhanced profitability.

Our net cash generated from operating activities for 2023 was RMB32,840 million. Capital expenditures stood at RMB31,715 million, with free cash flow2 reaching RMB1,125 million. As of 31 December 2023, our total assets reached RMB326,007 million, with interest-bearing liabilities of RMB94,626 million and a gearing ratio3 of 31.4%. Our capital structure remained healthy.

We remain committed to providing consistent and stable returns to shareholders. After considering our profitability and cash flow during the period under review, and future needs for development and capital, the Board of the Company has recommended a final dividend of RMB0.03739 per share (pre-tax) for the year ended 31 December 2023, equivalent to a payout ratio of 75% of our annual distributable net profit for the year under review.

Business Performance

In 2023, we continued to seize the development opportunities resulting from the state strategies of "Cyberpower", "Digital China" and "Dual Carbon" goals. By positioning ourselves as a world-class information and communications infrastructure service provider and a highly competitive information and new energy applications provider, we continued to deepen our "One Core and Two Wings" strategy. As a result, our TSP business maintained steady development, while our Smart Tower and Energy businesses sustained the growth momentum.

Further strengthened market leadership in TSP business on a solid foundation

5G network penetration and coverage in China continued to expand in 2023 and we were able to capture the opportunities this presented. By strengthening resource coordination and sharing, and enhancing operational efficiencies, we were able to meet customer network construction needs in an intensive and effective manner. By doing so, we have further strengthened the foundation for high-quality development. In 2023, our TSP business recorded revenue of RMB82,163 million, a decrease of 1.0% year-on-year.

Tower business. Focusing on 5G network construction, we harnessed public policy support to unleash and share public and cross-sector resources. These initiatives helped reduce entry barriers and costs, therefore reinforced our competitiveness in resource coordination. Through increased sharing of existing site resources, wider use of social resources and greater effort in promoting the adoption of our integrated wireless communications coverage solutions, we have been able to effectively support the accelerated 5G network extension. We completed approximately 586,000 5G construction demand in 2023, of which more than 95% were achieved by sharing existing resources. We proactively captured the new construction demand for low-frequency network and network optimization, as well as stepping up our efforts in tackling difficult sites. This has effectively supported the stable growth of our Tower business. Leveraging our knowledge of construction features for comprehensive 5G coverage, we continued to launch innovative solutions for lowcost construction, products and services to satisfy customer demand economically and effectively.

In 2023, our revenue from our Tower business was RMB75,023 million, a decrease of 2.8% from the previous year. As of 31 December 2023, the Company was managing a total of 2.046 million tower sites, a decrease of 9,000 from the end of the year before. We have gained 62,000 new TSP tenants since the end of 2022, bringing the total number of TSP tenants to 3.424 million. Our TSP tenancy ratio increased from 1.65 at the end of 2022 to 1.68 as a result of further improvements achieved through co-location.

DAS business. The implementation of "co-build and co-share" policies by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and 13 other departments has given rise to an enabling business environment for our industry. We furthered the integrated and coordinated development of "resources + demands", with unified site entry and coordinated construction and focused on key business scenarios. Extended 5G coverage also enabled us to provide better service to support the segment for DAS construction demand. We continued to enhance product and solution design and quality control to strengthen our competitive advantages in cost, service quality, and green and low-carbon operations. Through innovation in products and application of integrated solutions, we were able to provide customers with differentiated passive and active DAS sharing solutions, which helped satisfy the demand for 5G upgrading of existing DAS while further exploring shared value and scaling up the business.

In 2023, our revenue from DAS business reached RMB7,140 million, up by 22.5% year-on-year. As of 31 December 2023, we had covered buildings with a cumulative area of 10.15 billion square meters, up by 37.3% year-on-year, while high-speed railway tunnel and subway coverage reached a cumulative length of 24,072 kilometers, up by 20.1% year-on-year.

Strengthened core competencies to sustain rapid growth of Two Wings business

In 2023, we continued to seize the opportunities brought by the development of the digital economy and the "Dual Carbon" goals. By focusing on key sectors and promoting innovation-driven development, we strengthened our core competencies and competitive advantages to sustain rapid growth of the Two Wings business, which recorded revenue of RMB11,497 million in 2023, accounting for 12.2% of our overall operating revenue, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the previous year.

Smart Tower business. We focused on supporting spatial digital intelligence governance of different industries and continued to expand the mid-to-high point site resources to cover broader areas of the national economy and people's livelihood. As of 31 December 2023, approximately 217,000 "telecommunication towers" had been upgraded into "digital towers", covering more than 40 industry segments concerning state planning and people's livelihood. These included forestry and grassland, environmental protection, water resources, agriculture, transportation, land, and emergency response. We maintained our market leadership in various scenario-based solutions including straw-burning prohibition, farmland protection, fishing law enforcement and bushfire prevention. We forged ahead innovation to further enhance our five major competitive advantages – platform, data, algorithm, application, and operation, establishing a unified nationwide network to achieve distributed deployment on our platform and centralized data operations. As a result, our multi-source data access capability and AI algorithm accuracy have been significantly improved, and our leading capabilities in products developed for different industries and scenarios have been further consolidated. We have built a "companion" service system and completed the building of professional network management platform for our Smart Tower business, equipped with the ability to accurately diagnose incidents occurring in the terminal devices, dispatch for tasks in real time and handle the incidents in a timely manner. We have strengthened our localized technical support capabilities, helping us promptly respond to customer requirements thus consistently enhanced customer experience and customer loyalty.

In 2023, the Smart Tower business generated revenue of RMB7,283 million, up by 27.7% year-on-year. Of which, revenue from Tower Monitoring business reached RMB4,727 million, accounting for 64.9% of our revenue from Smart Tower business.

Energy business. We worked towards achieving the "Dual Carbon" goals through our core business areas such as battery exchange and power backup. We continuously improved the quality of operations and business by consolidating our product, service, and platform advantages. In the battery exchange business, we accelerated product iteration and upgrades and strengthened our service system. We reinforced our presence in the consumer battery exchange market while increasing our efforts to expand the battery exchange market of business customers. These initiatives have helped us achieve a rapid increase in user scale. As of 31 December 2023, the number of battery exchange users reached 1.145 million, with an addition of 243,000 since the end of 2022. We have further strengthened our leading position in the battery exchange market for light electric vehicle. In the power backup business, we optimized the intelligent monitoring platform for visualized, managed, and controlled operation, and improved the integrated four-in-one solution covering power backup, power generation, monitoring and maintenance while stepping up our efforts in promoting standardized power backup products. We focused on key industries such as communications, healthcare and finance by introducing the "energy butler" service to drive the rapid growth of our power backup business.

In 2023, our Energy business achieved revenue of RMB4,214 million, a year-on-year increase of 31.7%, of which the revenue from battery exchange business accounted for RMB2,067 million, with its contribution to the Energy business reaching 49.1%.

Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility

We maintain a high standard of corporate governance. We strictly adhere to the rules and regulations governing listed companies and other regulatory requirements. We also seek ways to improve governance mechanisms and systems in order to provide a solid foundation for safeguarding the Company's healthy and sustainable development. We see risk management as a critical component of this, and strive to optimize comprehensive risk prevention and response mechanisms to effectively improve compliance and risk control.

We have received wide recognition for our commitment to corporate social responsibility and fulfilled our obligations to serve the community by realizing harmonious coexistence and coordinated development with society and the environment. In 2023, we successfully delivered reliable communications services for more than 20 major international and national events including the "Two Sessions", the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the Asian Games Hangzhou, the China International Import Expo held in Shanghai, and the Chengdu World University Games. We worked closely with telecommunications operators on emergency response to natural disasters such as ice, snow, earthquakes, and heavy rainfall to ensure the rapid re-connection of communication lifelines. We continued to improve the construction of telecommunication infrastructure in remote areas, helping to provide inclusive services and narrowing the digital divide. We adapted measures to local conditions and formulated long-term planning to effectively promote poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. To support China's carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals, we actively practiced green operations by building clean energy-powered sites, implementing energy saving and emissions reduction measures at base-stations, and exploring the use of clean energy.


In view of the strategic opportunities presented to us, we will deepen our "One Core and Two Wings" strategy to achieve high-quality operations. We will continue to grow our business around sharing, service, innovation, technology, and value creation, built upon an operating system that is professional, intensive, delicate, efficient, and digitalized. We seek to further enhance our core competitiveness, in order to achieve steady growth in our enterprise value, while reaching a new level of high-quality development.

TSP business: Wireless communications is a strategic, crucial and pioneering sector that provides full support to social and economic development. Adopting an appropriate forward-looking approach to the commercial deployment of 5G and 5G-A technology, tackling the Dual-Gigabit network joint-entry and challenging projects, and special projects such as signal strength upgrade and extending of broadband coverage to all border areas will continue to promote the intense development of wireless communications network. Presented with these market opportunities, we will leverage resource coordination to meet customer needs in an intensive and effective manner in order to cement our market leading position. Our deep understanding of customer needs will help us further develop innovative service solutions, enhance service capabilities, and better implement the integrated wireless communications coverage solutions. We will seize the opportunity of 5G indoor intensive coverage needs to increase our market share in providing DAS coverage in new buildings. At the same time, we will actively explore the demand for upgrading existing DAS to accelerate the growth of this business. We will play our role as part of the national team in information and communications infrastructure construction and as the main force in providing 5G new infrastructure.

Smart Tower business: The building of "Digital China" has presented unprecedented opportunities in the development of strategic and emerging industries, transformation and upgrading of traditional sectors and advancement of digital governance, creating huge room for Smart Tower business development. By leveraging the mid-to-high point site resources advantage, we will focus on the digital intelligence transformation of social governance to step up innovation and constantly improve the core capabilities as well as our platform, algorithm, application and other advantages. We will actively empower and accelerate the transformation and upgrade of digital intelligence governance, and contribute to the state strategies of "Digital China" and "Beautiful China" through a comprehensive enhancement of our Smart Tower business across vertical business development, innovation, demand discovery, service integration and precise management.

Energy business: Towards the "Dual Carbon" goals, we are seeing furthered green and low-carbon transition across society and all aspects of the economy. The accelerated development in green mobility, energy saving and emissions reduction, as well as in the circular economy will present opportunities to our Energy business. We will accelerate market expansion, advance the cost-effective growth of our battery exchange network in order to consolidate our market leadership. We will focus on key sectors and scenarios to build core advantages in our integrated four-in-one solution covering power backup, power generation, monitoring and maintenance. We will enhance our standardized product line of "power backup +" to maintain the rapid growth of our power backup business. At the same time, we will explore green energy, energy storage and saving, and other integrated energy services to promote the application of green energy in the information and communication sector, as well as at the social level covering every aspect of people's life. By doing so, we can help to achieve the strategic "Dual Carbon" goals.

Looking ahead in 2024, we will also continue to enhance our capabilities in reinforcing the dual engines of technological innovation and system innovation, investing our efforts in innovation and in the commercialization of research outcomes, turning innovation into the fundamental feature and key focus of our operations and development. We will be generating new growth momentum and shaping new competitive advantages to speed up the formation of new quality production forces to sustain the highquality development of the Company. We will actively plan and practically implement technological innovation across the strategic and emerging sectors and future sectors by addressing the challenges in edge computing network, AI, new energy, 5G-A/6G, and other fields. We will further innovation for product and service lines including "DAS +", intelligent operation and maintenance, one-code-for-all service and the Tower Monitoring offering. These will help us strengthen our supply and ability to empower digitalization, so as to enhance our core competitiveness. We will further promote innovative management to improve the working mechanisms including the "four lists" of competencies and capabilities, task and project planning, resource allocation, and the commercialization of research outcomes, and the four-in-one technological innovation system integrating the headquarters, provincial branches, industry ecosystem and international organizations. We will also strengthen tech talent development, increase investment in R&D and rewards and incentives, and seek to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of technological innovation.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mr. Gu Xiaomin, who has resigned as executive director and the general manager of the Company. During his term of service, Mr. Gu was diligent and dedicated in his duties, and made tremendous contribution to the implementation of the Company's "One Core and Two Wings" strategy, helping to enhance our enterprise value and promote high-quality development. On behalf of the Board, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Gu for his contribution to the Company during his term of service. I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. Zhang Guohou, who has resigned as independent non-executive director of the Company, for his outstanding contributions to the Company's development during his term of service.

The Company's achievements and progress in the past year would not have been possible without the hard work of all employees, the strong support of our customers, the trust of all shareholders, and the care and support from the wider community. On behalf of the Board, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone!

Zhang Zhiyong


Beijing, China, 18 March 2024


  • EBITDA margin is calculated by dividing EBITDA by operating revenue, and multiplying the resulting value by 100%.
  • Free cash flow is the net cash generated from operating activities minus the capital expenditures.
  • Gearing ratio is calculated as net debts divided by the sum of total equity and net debt, then multiplied by 100%. Net debt is calculated as the amount of interest-bearing liabilities minus the amount of cash and cash equivalents.