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As Apple Expands in China, Local Smartphone Brands Look Overseas

A commuter uses her iPhone in Guangzhou, China
A commuter uses her iPhone in Guangzhou, ChinaPhotograph by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Apple is getting more aggressive in China. Even before Chief Executive Tim Cook met yesterday in Beijing with his counterpart at China Mobile, we knew Apple had made a breakthrough with the country’s largest cellular operator. After years of fruitless talks, Apple and China Mobile agreed last month to work together to sell the iPhone to the more than 760 million Chinese users of China Mobile’s network.

The two companies have much bigger plans, Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua told reporters yesterday. While they didn’t reveal details, Cook told the official China Daily newspaper that Apple will target smaller Chinese cities now that it is partners with China Mobile. “Apple will not sell the most, but will create the best products,” he said.