Brampton, Ontario--In one of the biggest deals by a North American b-to-b company in the booming China telecom market to date, Nortel Networks Corp. has signed a $274 million contract with China Telecommunications Corp., China Unicom Ltd. and China Mobile Corp., all of Beijing. Nortel will help the companies develop fiber-optic and mobile networks. The company's pact comes on the heels of a $400 million deal by Intel Corp. to build a Web hosting platform for China Telecom. Nortel and Intel are positioning themselves as first movers in the lucrative China telecom marketplace, which is expected to surpass the U.S. marketplace in size by 2008. The deals also underscore the tidal wave of investment dollars pouring into China, a good deal of which is funding b-to-b technology projects. China recently surpassed the U.K. as the most favored destination for foreign investment after the U.S.