A.O. Smith, a major US water heater and electric motor manufacturer has paid US$77 million to enter China’s water treatment market, AP reported. The Milwaukee company will buy an 80% share of Tianlong, a Hong Kong-based water treatment company, using its cash flow and credit facilities. Paul Jones, chairman and CEO of A.O. Smith, said: "One of the biggest issues facing much of the world is securing clean drinking water and has experienced significant growth over the last several years meeting this demand." A.O. Smith expects to introduce water treatment products into the Chinese market within 12 months, and to achieve double-digit operating profit within three years, generating more than US$100 million in sales.