China Mobile quarterly profit down 9.4 percent on lower spending per customer

China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier by number of subscribers, says its latest quarterly profit declined 9.4 percent despite a rise in customer numbers as spending per account declined.

The state-owned carrier said Wednesday it earned 25.2 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) in the three months ending March 31. Total revenue rose 7.8 percent to 154.8 billion yuan ($25.8 billion) but revenue per user declined.

In a statement, the company said it experienced "severe challenges" due to the rapid evolution of mobile Internet and growing competitive pressure from other Chinese carriers.