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Chinese Firms Buy US$2.3 Billion IT Products from US

Five Chinese companies signed 11 contracts Tuesday with US-based firms on purchasing electronics and communications equipment with a total value of US$2.32 billion.

Under one contract worth US$556 million, China Unicom has awarded the expansion and upgrading of its mobile phone networks in Beijing and 12 major provinces of China to Motorola.

Motorola secured another US$510 million deal with China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world, to expand wireless communications network and improve data services in Beijing and 13 provinces of China.

Lucent Technologies also announced a series of contracts with China Unicom and China Telecom worth more than US$350 million.

"The agreements cover virtually the entire range of Lucent's next-generation network offerings and services that are designed to accelerate the smooth evolution to packet networks as well as enabling the delivery of advanced multimedia communications services," the company said in a statement.

In addition, China Telecom and China Unicom both signed contracts with Cisco Systems. Lenovo and Founder, two Chinese high-tech firms, also struck deals with US chip-maker Intel.

The contracts were signed at a ceremony held during the US-China Seminar on Prospects for Cooperation in Telecom and IT.

Speaking at the seminar, US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans hailed the purchase agreements as "a monumental event that represents further strengthening of US-China trade relations."

"The US$2.3 billion in purchases underscores the importance of China's high-tech market to our US companies," he said. "These agreements will help generate corporate revenue, and they will support high-tech manufacturing jobs in many American communities."

Lou Qinjian, Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Information Industry, said the contracts fully demonstrated China's sincerity in addressing the issues of trade imbalance between the two sides.

"China and US should work together to solve the issues of trade imbalance by establishing a mechanism of communication and cooperation, rather than imposing restrictions on trade," he said.

Information industries in the two countries featured strong complementarity, he stressed, which could be readily employed to solve the trade imbalance through expanding US exports to China.

(People's Daily January 14, 2004)

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