Chinese media is reporting that China Unicom and Apple have signed a 3 year deal to sell the iPhone in mainland China. Reports are that Unicom will purchase iPhones from Apple for 3,000 Chinese Yuan each and guarantee sales of 1 to 2 million units per year and revenue of 5 billion Chinese Yuan. It is speculated that end user prices will be somewhat higher than other markets because of PRC taxes and customization required to disable WiFi for the mainland China market.
Further speculation is that iPhone will make its mainland China debut in time for the 10/1 National Day holiday.
My experience as a trial China Unicom 3G user is that their network deployment is first rate. It will be interesting to see how it holds up after a flood of iPhones.