China Telecom has signed a deal allowing it to tap into the growing number of Chinese visitors to the UK.
The phone company, one of the world's largest, will use the network of the UK's T-Mobile and Orange owner Everything Everywhere in order to provide a service aimed at the 600,000 Chinese people living in the UK as well as a similar number of visitors every year.
The service will be launched before the anticipated surge in Chinese visitors for the London Olympics.
"Entering the UK mobile market is a strategic move for China Telecom Europe," said Yan Ou, managing director of China Telecom Europe.
"We are keen to launch the service in the UK as soon as possible as there is a real gap in the market for the provision of tailored mobile services and competitive tariffs aimed at the growing Chinese population in the UK."
Everything is the largest mobile phone operator in the UK by customer numbers, and has the biggest 3G network for smartphone downloads in the UK.
The "strategically important" deal is the first time a Chinese telecoms company has entered into such a partnership overseas.
It could lead to the Chinese company launching other services in the West, according to reports, or even buying its own network.
The deal will take the number of partnerships Everything has with other companies to 24.
Others include Virgin, Lycamobile and Cable & Wireless.