What it does: International telecommunications services including international direct dialling, internet, mobile data and roaming services.
Best known for: China Mobile International is the Hong Kong subsidiary of China Mobile Ltd, the world’s biggest telecommunications operator based on network scale and subscriber base.
Staff stats: Between 500 and 1,000 employees.
The good bits: Graduates have a clear career path when they join the company. You can start as a trainee and move up as an associate or senior officer, assistant manager and manager.
The not so good bits: Work hours at the China Mobile International can be quite long. It’s common for some employees to remain at the office beyond 6 pm.
China Mobile Ltd founded CMI in 2010 with the primary function of handling the company’s overseas business. The wholly-owned subsidiary has expanded China Mobile’s reach to more than 20 countries in different regions. They also established more than 500 data centres in six continents.
CMI’s telecommunications services include IDD, internet, MNC and roaming services. They also specialise in carrier and enterprise solutions such as cloud services, international voice and data transmission, and VPNs. The Hong Kong unit also launched the Hand-in-Hand Programme with 25 international telecommunications operators and service providers, which cater to more than 2.9 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.
Internship applications at CMI can take more than four weeks. Students should expect at least two rounds of individual or panel interviews in Cantonese, English and/or Mandarin. An HR recruiter and the head of your chosen department may ask questions about your knowledge of CMI and your reasons for joining the company.
The hiring process for graduate trainees can last for two months if you apply online. CMI screens candidates through a series of tests including business management, English and math questions. You must complete the exam within a given time. Shortlisted candidates will then participate in a group presentation in English and Mandarin. The final round of interviews indicates a high chance of receiving a job offer from CMI.
The company also advises applicants to read industry news about the telecommunications sectors in preparation for the interviews. CMI describes the general interview process to be a ‘two-way process’ where candidates can ask several questions. You can easily schedule an interview since you can choose from several time slots.
The company lays out a four-level career path for prospective employees starting with CMI’s Global Graduate Trainee Programme. This involves 12 months of working at the company’s Hong Kong headquarters and possibly overseas. Trainees must prepare for job rotations, participate in corporate events and programme, and work on incubator projects during the one-year stint.
The next levels for career progression comprise associates and senior officers, assistant managers and managers. CMI divides their operations into three primary streams where graduates can begin their careers. The technology and network stream generally oversee the company’s engineering, IT, pre-sales support, post-sales support and project management activities.
The business stream takes care of CMI’s brand management, business development, market analysis and operational management. Accounting and finance, administrative, human resources, investment, legal and procurement activities fall under the general stream of CMI’s business.
CMI pays HK$8,000 per month on average for interns. Graduate trainees earn between HK$15,000 and HK$17,000 per month on average. The company provides employees with flexible work hours, free snacks and meal subsidies, life insurance, milestone leave (eg birthday, graduation and marriage), performance bonuses and 13th-month pay, and medical benefits including dependents.
The company’s core values focus on building mutual trust, undertaking responsibilities and caring for employees. CMI ensures a healthy work-life balance among these three concepts by encouraging their staff to participate in outdoor activities like the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Competition and Orbis Hong Kong Moonwalkers campaign. New employees feel welcome through the ‘5 in 1’ talent-caring programme, as well as a two-day orientation to streamline the adjustment into their new roles.
Some employees describe the company’s culture as the same as a traditional Chinese company, despite the status of being connected with international telecommunications operators. Work hours can be long despite being flexible, and it’s possible that you could stay at the office until 8 pm.
CMI’s peers in Greater China’s telecommunications industry include China Telecom, China Unicom, Hutchison Telecom and PCCW Ltd.
Job security at CMI seems solid because of their affiliation with China Mobile. You should find it relatively easy to adapt to your new role with CMI’s onboarding activities. Those who like to work outside of Hong Kong should apply as a graduate trainee. It’s not a guaranteed option, but you’ll be a priority when an overseas vacancy becomes available.
Graduates and students should also prepare for long work hours, particularly in the engineering and IT departments. The number of employees at CMI also imply that fast-tracking your career doesn’t seem feasible in your first few years, due to the apparent competition for coveted positions within the company.