Reuters reports that China Telecom is close to a deal with Apple for distribution of the iPhone in China. The iPhone is presently available in China on China Unicom, so the addition of a second carrier would help Apple expand their reach in that country.
Reuters' sources indicate that the negotiations are ongoing but that it is expected to happen this year.
"It's expected to happen this year. China Telecom already has the required technology and it all hinges on the content of the agreement. As we all know, it's not easy to negotiate with Apple," a source close to the company, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Wednesday.
The 3rd major Chinese mobile phone carrier has also been rumored to be in discussions with Apple.