RIM, Alcatel-Lucent team up on BlackBerry in China

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has shipped the first of its smartphones to China and hopes to start selling them later this year, a major breakthrough for the company in penetrating the huge Asian market, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said RIM struck the Chinese distribution deal with Alcatel-Lucent and that the first handset the new partnership will sell will be the 8700 model.

Investors lauded the company for the long-awaited announcement, driving its shares to a new high. The stock jumped $7.72, or 6.8 %, to $121.10 on the Nasdaq market, the report said.

RIM has recognized China's importance in its global plans, and first officially announced plans to sell the BlackBerry in China in May 2006, the report added.

The Reuters report further said the already has a partnership with China Mobile for its entry into China, where it will face competition from low-cost rivals, including a popular local service called 'RedBerry.'