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Unicom to Buy Back Stake From SK Telecom

Updated from 2:29 a.m. EDT to add expected iPhone release in October.

BEIJING ( TheStreet) -- China Unicom (CHU - Get Report) said it plans to buy back a 3.8% stake in the company held by South Korea's SK Telecom (SKM - Get Report).

SK Telecom will sell to China Unicom all the shares it holds, which amounts to 899.7 million shares. The selling price is HK$ 11.105 a share, with a total consideration of about HK$10 billion ($1.29 billion).

"We are confident of China Unicom's development. The share repurchase would be beneficial for maximizing the value of shareholders investment in the company," said Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom, in a statement. "After the share repurchase, China Unicom will be pleased to maintain the sound cooperation partnership with SKT."

Separately, China Unicom said Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 3G smart phone will go on sale in China in October, according to

The iPhone 3G will go on sale in October for around 5,000 yuan ($733), China Unicom said, without offering specific pricing for the two iPhone 3G models, which have storage capacity for 16GB and 32GB of data, respectively, notes.

Last month, China Unicom said it reached a three-year agreement to sell the iPhone in China, the world's most populous mobile phone market. China Unicom had said sales of the iPhone would begin in the fourth quarter,

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York .

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-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York .

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