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Apple's first Hong Kong store to open soon

The company is also on the brink of releasing a 3G model of the iPad 2 in mainland China, following approval from a local regulatory agency.

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Apple's retail efforts in East Asia are set for another expansion this month, with the opening of the company's first store in Hong Kong and a version of the iPad 2 with 3G in mainland China.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Apple plans to open its 20,000-square-foot store in Hong Kong's International Finance Center Mall this month. What the store will look like remains under wraps for the time being, as depicted by a report from Engadget China.

During July's quarterly earnings conference call, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer noted that the Hong Kong store would be opening within the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends September 24. That gives the company less than three weeks to make that deadline.

On that same July earnings call, Tim Cook, now CEO, said the company was just "scratching the surface" of the Chinese market, with quarterly revenue of $3.8 billion, a six-fold increase from the same quarter the year before. A big part of that growth has been sales of the iPhone, which could see a substantial increase if Appleinks deals with additional carriers in the region.

A separate Wall Street Journal report this morning says Apple has been cleared to sell a version of the iPad 2 with built-in 3G networking in China, where it currently sells only the Wi-Fi version of the device. The Journal report (subscription required) notes that the device that passed through China's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center works with the 3G network of existing local iPhone operator China Unicom.