A. O. Smith Corp. has announced that A. O. Smith (Shanghai) Water Treatment Products Co. concluded its purchase of the water treatment business of Tianlong Holding Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong.

A. O. Smith holds 80 percent of the newly formed company, which is considered a wholly owned foreign enterprise under Chinese law. A. O. Smith (Shanghai) Water Treatment Products Co. will supply reverse-osmosis water purification products to China’s residential and commercial markets, as well as export markets throughout the world.

"This is an important strategic action that we believe will benefit A. O. Smith and its shareholders," chairman and chief executive officer Paul Jones says. "This puts A. O. Smith squarely in the rapidly growing global water treatment industry."

"We are very excited about working closely with our new partner and the Tianlong team," he continues. "Tianlong brings extensive experience and knowledge of the market to this new venture, along with a strong customer base."

In 2010, A. O. Smith will introduce a line of water purification products in China to be sold under the A. O. Smith brand name through the company's current water heater distribution channels.

Founded in 1999, Tianlong, employs more than 900 people in two facilities totaling approximately 431,000 square-feet in Shanghai. The company, China's leading manufacturer of residential and commercial water purification equipment, supplies reverse osmosis appliances, reverse osmosis elements, water softeners, industrial and commercial water treatment equipment, filters and components. Tianlong markets its products under multiple brand names in China, and the company exports to more than 30 countries around the world.