HONG KONG China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier by subscribers and the only Chinese operator that does not officially carry the iPhone, is actively negotiating with Apple Inc on the issue, its chairman said on Wednesday.
"We've been actively talking to Apple on how we can cooperate," China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua, who assumed the post in March, told a shareholders' meeting.
He made the comments in response to a question about when China Mobile would clinch a contract with Apple for the iPhone.
China Mobile shares are up about 13 percent this year, outperforming the Hang Seng Index's about 5 percent rise.
The carrier said subscribers in March rose to 667.20 million - more than twice the population of the United States - including 59.56 million 3G subscribers.
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Chris Lewis)