Apple in talks to buy China's Handseeing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks to buy Chinese software maker Handseeing, an executive at the Chinese company said on Friday, a deal that would mark the iPhone maker’s first acquisition in the country.

“We should have a decision in about one or two months,” Tian Bo, vice-president for operations told Reuters by phone. “They’re still talking about it and it’s not quite settled yet right now.”

He declined to give additional details.

Apple spokeswoman Jill Tan had no immediate comment.

Handseeing is a little-known gaming company headquartered in southwest China’s Sichuan province. It designs online games based on popular Chinese folklore.

If realised, the deal could point to an effort by Apple to push harder into the gaming or China markets, where it has not previously had a significant presence.

In China, Apple operates two retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai and has said it is on track to have 25 such outlets in China by the end of next year. It also sells its iconic iPhone through mobile operator China Unicom Ltd.

The maker of the iPhone and iMac computers has nearly $46 billion in cash, the biggest cash hoard among U.S. technology companies and roughly equivalent to a fifth of its total market capitalization.

Unlike other tech rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Oracle Corp, Apple has made few major acquisitions in the past, primarily because most of its products have been developed internally.

Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Doug Young and Chris Lewis