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Monday, July 18, 2011, 11:00 pm PT (02:00 am ET)

Borders bookstores on the brink; 3G iPad 2 on China Unicom

After negotiations for a buyout collapsed over the weekend, Borders is nearing liquidation. Also, China Unicom executives will soon travel to the U.S. to negotiate with Apple to bring the 3G iPad 2 to China.

Borders

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that, according to people familiar with the matter, a bidding deadline to buy the nation's second-largest bookstore chain and rescue it from bankruptcy had passed without any offers that would keep the company in business. But, Borders, which still operates 400 stores and 11,000 employees, will likely accept offers up until a bankruptcy-court auction on Tuesday, the report noted.

Sources said Borders remained in talks with several interested buyers, including Books-A-Million Inc., but had yet to reach an agreement. Should the company prove unable to find a buyer, a group of liquidators will serve as the opening bidder in Tuesday's auction.

Borders had been in negotiations with private-equity investor Jahm Najafi, but creditors reportedly objected to his bid because of a clause that would allow him to liquidate the company. Instead, they argued that a "backup bid from liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group" would be a better deal.

China Unicom 3G iPad 2

China Unicom executives are reportedly planning a trip to the U.S. to discuss plans to bring the 3G iPad 2 to China, as reported by CC Time (via Bloomberg).

Yu Yingtao, a manager in the sales department of China's second-largest wireless operator, said the timing for a mainland release of the iPad 2 still remained unclear, as Apple is awaiting approval from "relevant domestic policies and regulations." According to the report, the 3G iPad 2 has passed 3C certification in China and is awaiting access permits from the Ministry of Industry.

The Wi-Fi only version of the iPad 2 went on sale in China in early May, quickly selling out. The 3G iPad 2 is already available in the country on the grey market.

Though Wi-Fi models of Apple's original iPad arrived in China last October, 3G versions have never officially hit the market. Regardless, China Unicom offers plans and SIM cards for iPad 3G users who import the device or purchase one off the grey market.