China Mobile, the world’s largest
mobile operator by subscribers, has confirmed it is in talks to
acquire a stake in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) in order
to expand into the e-commerce sector.

A 20% stake in SPDB, China’s seventh-largest
bank by assets, would cost China Mobile up to $5.9bn.

In an effort to capture a share of the
country’s online payments market, worth around CNY180bn ($26.3bn)
in 2009, China Mobile started offering some mobile payment services
last year.

SPDB, in which Citigroup holds a 3.8% stake,
reported a 5% increase in net profits for fiscal 2009 to