Chinese mobile-phone users could soon be downloading videos and full-length songs on their handsets thanks to high-speed third generation (3G) telecom technology, according to a report in China's state media.

Wang Xudong, China's minister of information industry, has said that authorities could award domestic 3G telecom licences "very soon." He was speaking on Dec. 4 at the International Telecom Union's Telecom World 2006 triennial trade show, being held for the first time in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong-based IFPI Asia regional director Mayseey Leong says the music industry welcomes the prospect of China entering the 3G era. "But once you have 3G, you can download songs from the Internet onto your PC and then to your mobile phone," Leong notes. And with China's high rate of online piracy, that's a cause for concern, she says.