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Nokia Plans to Close Two of Its Four China Sales Offices

Nokia Oyj will close two of its four regional sales offices in China, as part of a restructuring plan the company announced last month to halt mounting losses from plunging smartphone sales.

Nokia will shut offices in Chengdu and Shanghai and consolidate operations at a northern center in Beijing and a southern hub in Guangzhou, Anna Shipley, a Beijing-based Nokia spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. The moves will eliminate jobs, she said, without providing details.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop is reorganizing Nokia after market-share gains by Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co. devices led to a slump in sales and four straight quarterly losses. The company said June 14 it would cut as many as 10,000 jobs globally and close facilities.

“As part of the announcement and planned changes that we made on June 14, we are reviewing some elements of our China business,” Shipley said in the e-mail. Nokia plans to continue “nationwide” market coverage in the country, she said.

Nokia shares fell 0.8 percent to 1.536 euros at 2:13 p.m. in Helsinki trading.

The company shipped more than 2 million Lumia smartphones running on the Windows Phone operating system globally in the first quarter, while Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones.

Nokia’s handset shipments declined 24 percent in the first quarter, allowing Samsung to overtake the Espoo, Finland-based company as the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker, researcher IDC said in May. Nokia’s global share in the first quarter was 20.8 percent, trailing Samsung’s 23.5 percent. Apple had 8.8 percent of the global mobile-phone market.

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