China Unicom Group and China Telecom Group, two of the big three state-owned telecommunication operators, have denied any knowledge of recent rumours of a possible merger, The Paper reported.

On 4 September, Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that China is evaluating a plan to merge the two groups.

The reports have driven up stock prices for the two Hong Kong-listed telecom giants. China Unicom soared nearly 8%, while China Telecom rose 6%.

However, despite constant market rumours over the past month, both companies told The Paper they have not received any notice from the Chinese government, nor do they have any knowledge of merger talks.