Business

RIM shares up 8% as BlackBerry goes to China

Shares of Research in Motion jumped over eight per cent after the Waterloo, Ont.-based company and Alcatel-Lucent announced Tuesday they've signed an agreement to distribute BlackBerry smartphones in China.

Shares of Research in Motion jumped over eightper cent after the Waterloo, Ont.-based company and Alcatel-Lucent announced Tuesdaythey've signed an agreement to distribute BlackBerry smartphones in China.

RIM sharesrose $9.12 to $120.42on the TSX. In New York, shares of Alcatel-Lucent gained more than four per cent to $9.55 US.

In a joint release Tuesday, RIM and Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent said the announcement coincides with the first shipment of smartphones to distribution networks in China. They should be available to Chinese customers in key markets later this year.

The first smartphone to be offered will be the 8700 model, which gained certification for the Chinese market through a partnership between Alcatel-Lucent and TCL Communications, a major mobile device manufacturer in China.

"Following our launch of the BlackBerry service with China Mobile, we are very pleased to now enter this smartphone distribution agreement with Alcatel-Lucent and Alcatel Shanghai Bell," said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM.

"Our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent has been very productive in other regions and has been key in our progress to import smartphones into the Chinese market."

Frederic Rose, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Asia Pacific activities, said the deal strengthens a distribution agreement the two companies signed in 2006 covering Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, now extending it to China.

"This strategic partnership perfectly matches Alcatel-Lucent's global presence and strength in the Chinese market with the global awareness and popularity of RIM's BlackBerry brand," Rose said.

RIM said the BlackBerry is now available from more than 300 carriers around the world.

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