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BlackBerry is cleared to be sold in China

July 05, 2007|From the Associated Press

TORONTO —

Toronto -- Research in Motion has received clearance to sell its popular BlackBerry device in China after eight years of trying.

The Canadian company says it's finalizing the delivery of its products there.

Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie, speaking on a conference call with analysts last week, said the company was planning to serve corporate customers in key Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The company's move into China comes as it competes in the United States with Apple Inc.'s heavily hyped iPhone, which began selling in the U.S. last Friday.

A manager in Research in Motion's Beijing office was quoted in the Globe and Mail newspaper as saying that it expects to start selling its 8700g handset in Chinese shops at the end of next month and has already received 5,000 advance orders.

Balsillie said the company would continue to strengthen its relationship with China Mobile and planned to increase BlackBerry awareness in China. The BlackBerry already sells in India and Japan.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said BlackBerry subscriber accounts grew by about 1.2 million during the first quarter for a total of 9.2 million.

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