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Huawei to join forces with China Mobile to bid for Brazil's Oi: report

FILE PHOTO: IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co is joining forces with China Mobile <0941.HK> to potentially enter a dispute to buy struggling Brazilian carrier Oi SA <OIBR3.SA>, in an attempt to boost its footprint in Latin America's largest market, O Globo news website reported on Saturday.

According to the media outlet, both Chinese companies anticipate a significant growth in business once Brazil starts deploying its fifth-generation wireless technology (5G) and Oi's 360,000 kilometers (224,000 miles) of fiber infrastructure is seen as an attractive asset.

Oi declined to comment on the matter, while Huawei and China Mobile did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Brazil's largest fixed-line carrier has been struggling to turnaround its business since it filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 to restructure approximately 65 billion reais of debt.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that, while negotiating its mobile network with Spain's Telefonica SA <TEF.MC> and Telecom Italia SpA <TLIT.MI>, Oi is also involved in preliminary talks with AT&T Inc <T.N> and another Chinese company.

(Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Daniel Wallis)