Apple is in talks with China Mobile, according to the carrier’s chairman Xi Guohua, although an agreement is yet to be reached.

China Mobile has 667.2 million mobile-phone subscribers, a vast new market for Apple’s iPhone. Guohua was speaking at a shareholder meeting.

Bloomberg explains that China Mobile is “counting on a shift to a fourth-generation wireless network to stem a decline in market share”. According to the report, “China Mobile’s homegrown 3G service left it unable to offer popular handsets including Apple’s iPhone, offered by its domestic competitors.”

China Mobile is set to expand its fourth-generation network trial to nine cities, and if the trial is a success, the total number of 4G base stations will reach 200,000 in 2013, according to Guohua.