Mobile communications have experienced rapid growth in China and play an increasingly important role in the country’s economic development. However, there is still vast regional imbalance in China’s communications industry which we will be exploring here, including examining what factors influence diffusion paths and cause these differences. Through a two-step estimate method, this paper successfully describes the differences in the diffusion paths of mobile communications in different regions of China. It evaluates the impacts of industry variables, intra-regional income gaps, macroeconomic factors (such as degree of urbanisation) and geographic effects of neighbouring provinces. Our work may be helpful to inform policymaking for effective and equitable development.