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BlackBerry gets green light for China

Regulator approval at last

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The Chinese Ministry of Information Industry has given permission for BlackBerry to start selling its addictive email devices in China.

The company got approval last month and expects to have handsets in shops by the end of August.

Research In Motion (RIM), BlackBerry's parent company, has already received 5,000 pre-orders for the device, according to Canada's Globe and Mail. Many pre-orders came from multinationals with Chinese offices. The paper said RIM is also considering manufacturing the devices in China.

China is the biggest missing piece from RIM's Asian market - BlackBerries are already available in India, Japan, and South Korea. The emailer has been available in Hong Kong with Hutchison Telecom since 2003, but has waited a long time for regulatory approval from mainland China.

But BlackBerry will have at least one local rival - the cheekily-named RedBerry was launched by China Unicom last year.

RIM increased sales in the first quarter by 76 per cent to $1.08bn. It shipped 2.4 million units in the quarter.

More from The Globe and Mail here. ®

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