The International Business Times is reporting today that Apple execs, including Greg Joswiak, Apple's VP of iPhone and iPod product marketing, are expected to meet with China Unicom this week to try to cement an iPhone deal there.
The iPhone hasn't been available in China, at least officially, and Apple is eager to gain a foothold. China trade officials say there are one billion phone users in the country, and Apple would love to have an extensive bite of the market.
Apple already has telecom approval in China, and Apple has localized the iPhone software to work in Chinese.
China Unicom is one of the country's large, state owned mobile carriers. There have been some pictures of purported Chinese iPhones posted on Chinese websites, but it isn't known for sure if they are legit. Engadget noted last week that there appears to be a regulatory approval in place for the iPhone in China, complete with the requested Wi-Fi block from the Chinese authorities.
Apple said last April that it hoped to have the iPhone in China by next year.