With the iPhone, now hitting Verizon with CDMA support and the device being on 3G networks around the world there are other carriers using different standards that want the iPhone too. In China, the iPhone has been offered for a while now on China Unicom.
Unicom runs on the 3G global standard and is not the largest carrier in the country. The largest carrier is China Mobile, which uses a different standard called TD-SCDMA and will use TD-LTE for its next gen standard. According to China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou Apple has committed to supporting TD-LTE.
China Mobile has been working with Apple for years trying to get Cupertino to build an iPhone supporting TD-SCDMA. The pledge for support of the next generation TD-LTE format brings new expectations of Apple perhaps offering an iPhone for the Chinese carrier that will support the current 3G network.