China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, said on Wednesday that it is in talks with Apple to offer the popular iPhone to its users.
The company's domestic rivals — China Unicom and China Telecom — already offer the iPhone to their subscribers.
“Both sides have been making contact with each other. And both sides are willing to boost cooperation,” Lei Yu, a spokeswoman for China Mobile, said without giving further details.
The company’s chairman, Xi Guohua, who took over in March, recently told a shareholders’ meeting that “We’ve been actively talking to Apple on how we can cooperate,” according to Reuters.
China Unicom began selling the iPhone in 2009, joined by China Telecom in March this year.
If China Mobile also started offering the handset, it could help boost sales for the US technology giant in China, the world's biggest mobile phone market.
The Apple brand is wildly popular in China, where products such as the iPhone and iPad are coveted by wealthy consumers. Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, has become California-based Apple's fastest growing region with revenues second only to the US.
China as a whole had more than one billion mobile phone users at the end of February.