Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphone, said it is preparing to launch an applications store and consumer Internet services in China as part of its push into the world's top mobile market. The upcoming Chinese App World applications store would follow RIM's May launch of BlackBerry service in China through China Telecom, one of China's three major carriers. RIM is also developing service for the homegrown third-generation (3G) mobile standard used by leading Chinese carrier, China Mobile. Shares of Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM jumped as much as 7.7 percent on Friday afternoon, and analysts said the gain could reflect the company's push into China among other factors.

RIM's applications store and consumer Internet service were just two of the initiatives the company was undertaking to tap into China's 700 million-plus subscriber mobile market, the world's largest, said Greg Shea, head of RIM in China. In other initiatives, RIM is also working with top Chinese Internet content providers and site operators, including search leader Baidu, online game leader Tencent and online commerce leader Alibaba Group, to create versions of their popular sites to work on BlackBerries. “We will soon be launching the Internet service” for consumers, Shea told Reuters in an interview. “We will also launch an App World China — that will be soon as well. We think sometime after we put in Internet service and these other initiatives, we'll see that magic moment when we see that acceleration” in sign-up of new customers.

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