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China: Local Companies Start Smartphone War Against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Sotheby's and CNOOC also make the news.

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He also said that while he was impressed with the new Apple device, he felt that public enthusiasm for it seemed muted compared to previous releases.

"The main reason is because in looking at the iPhone 5's hardware and functions, other handset vendors are already offering these features, or have phones with even better performance," he elaborated. "This reflects that Apple's product release speed is rather slow."

ZTE is also partnering with Mozilla to launch smartphones that will be powered by Mozilla's mobile operating system, Firefox OS. The devices are expected to debut by early 2013.

CNOOC (NYSE:CEO): The deal for state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC, to buy Canada's Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY) for $15.1 billion took one step towards completion as 99% of Nexen shareholders approved of the takeover in a vote this week.

"Today's shareholder vote is one step in the transaction's approval process," said Kevin Reinhart, Nexen's interim president and chief executive, after the vote, according to the Wall Street Journal. "It's now in the (regulators') hands to assess the transaction."

If approved by regulators, this will become the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company. Among the assets CNOOC would acquire in this takeover are production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and Nigeria, along with tar sands reserves in Long Lake, Alberta.
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