Tech Biz Roundup: Alibaba Secures $3B Loan to Go Private, China Telecom Gets iPhone 4s

In a move to facilitate a possible Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) deal, Alibaba has reportedly secured the $3 billion loan it needs to take private once again.

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Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN) says announced that they “continue to experience longer customer deployment and revenue recognition cycles as a result of our greater mix of international and solutions-oriented sales,” and cut first-quarter revenue guidance to $415 million from prior view of $435-455 million and consensus of $447.8 million.

The iPhone 4S will now be sold by the No. 3 Chinese carrier China Telecom (NYSE:CHA). Until now, No. 2 China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) had been the only Chinese carrier authorized to sell the iPhone. The world’s largest carrier, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), which might support China Mobile’s nascent 4G LTE network, could strike a deal after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduces the iPhone 5.

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Adding credence to an earlier rumor, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will soon submit an iPad version of Office to the App Store for approval, according to The Daily. The ability of Windows 8 tablets to differentiate themselves could be affected by Microsoft’s support of the platform, but the iPad’s rapid adoption (including in the enterprise) gives the company an incentive to do so.

A Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) executive says that his firm is committed to the set-top box market, despite a New York Post rumor to the contrary. He adds that Cisco is working with carriers to deploy its Videoscape solution for delivering cloud-based video. But another source, Light Reading, also says that Cisco is shopping its set-top unit (albeit “selectively”), as it deals with growing competition and price pressure.

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Along with a splashy ad campaign, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has unveiled a long-awaited software upgrade for the PlayBook, in spite of the PlayBook’s slim sales. Although RIM shares are only getting a slight boost this time, rumors of new buyout interest (previously) from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are said to be making the rounds.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is taking aim at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) with its new subscription-based video-on-demand service, Streampix, which must be accompanied by a subscription to Comcast’s TV and broadband services, will be offered for $4.99, but may even be free, depending on a subscriber’s Comcast package.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at