China Unicom (China United Telecommunications), the country's second-largest mobile operator, has introduced a push email service with a name that closely echoes RIM's (Research In Motion's) popular BlackBerry service.
"China Unicom's RedBerry brand not only incorporates people's familiarity with the BlackBerry brand name, but it also fully embodies the symbolic meanings of China Unicom's new red logo," the company said, describing BlackBerry as the most successful application of push email technology.
RIM is currently in talks with China Unicom's main rival, China Mobile Communications, to launch the BlackBerry service in China. RIM executives were not available to comment on the similarity between the brand names.
China Unicom's logo resembles a decorative Chinese knot, called a "pan chang," that traditionally symbolises the bond and connection between people. That meaning has been adapted to symbolise the infinite connection possibilities offered by modern telecommunications networks and the bright prospects and longevity of China Unicom's business, it said.
The RedBerry service allows users to send and receive emails containing up to 5,000 words and a 100KB attachment, the company said. The standard RedBerry package costs 5 renminbi (about 35p) per month and includes a mailbox with a 5MB capacity. Each email costs 0.30 renminbi (2p) to send, while incoming emails are free.
There are two other packages available, including the high-end business package, which costs 30 renminbi (£2.15) per month and includes a mailbox with a 200MB capacity. This package allows a user to send 100 emails per month for free, with each additional email costing 0.10 renminbi (1p) to send. Incoming emails are free.