Coca-Cola's Chinese subsidiary is apparently close to agreeing a settlement in its dispute with the Chinese basketball star Yao Ming.

The legal wrangling began after Coke used the star's image on its bottles. Yao was upset because he has an endorsement deal with rival drinks group Pepsi.

Houston television station KRIV reported National Basketball Association sources as saying that the settlement with Yao would include an apology from Coke.

Yao is demanding only ¥1 or 12 cents compensation for "spiritual and economic losses."

Coke use Yao's image because it has an endorsement contract with the Chinese national team, of which Yao is a part. But Yao said that did not give the company the right to use his image.