The talks between Apple and various Chinese telecoms companies have been going on for ever, it seems.

But now there has been a hint that a deal may actually be on the table.

Apple has listed in its career pages a position for an iPhone Quality Assurance Engineer in Beijing.

The iPhone manufacturer says that it is looking "to focus on international releases of our iPhone and iPod touch products for Beijing".

The iPhone is already available in Hong Kong (despite its ties to China) as well as nearby states Singapore and most recently, Thailand, but there have been problems in China, notably with telecoms providers resenting Apple's revenue sharing model for the phone.

Apple switched to a less controversial carrier subsidy model with the iPhone 3G launch.

The more "liberal" Chinese attitude towards unlocking phones is also rumoured to be an issue, and says AppleInsider: "An iPhone release under these conditions would press Apple to either offer the phone at its high, unsubsidized price or else to accept a greater risk of customers switching devices or carriers in mid-subscription".