US handset manufacturer Palm said Tuesday it has struck a partnership with China Mobile on research operations and boosting the presence of its Treo devices in Asia.

This follows a statement from Palm at 3GSM World Congress outlining its expansion strategy.

Palm is currently the subject of fierce speculation over its future with many experts suggesting it is up for sale.

Palm said its Treo 680 devices will be compatible with China Mobile which has more than than 240 million subscribers.

The company will develop new devices for the Asian market from its new research centre in Shanghai, Palm said.

At 3GSM in February the company’s senior vice president of global markets, John Hartnett, said that Palm’s worldwide expansion strategy means re-focusing on top European carriers and capturing hearts in the mass market.

“We are going to the mass market [in Europe] with a $28m marketing spend. We’re refocusing on the top players in the European market and we’ll be delivering products across all price points.”

No details of any major European deals have yet been announced.