China's Commerce Ministry said on Saturday that it has not yet received an application about machinery maker Tengzhong's bid to buy General Motors' Hummer brand.

General Motors Co signed a deal on Friday to sell its iconic but tarnished Hummer brand to an investment partnership headed by the hitherto obscure Chinese machinery maker, based in the country's southwest province of Sichuan.

The Ministry of Commerce has yet to receive an application concerning Tengzhong's purchase of Hummer, a Ministry official was quoted as saying in a brief report on Chinese state radio.

Currently, the Sichuan province commerce office is preparing to report the situation to the Ministry of Commerce, and because nothing is known about the specific content of the purchase agreement, for now (the ministry) will not say any more, the report cited the unnamed official as saying.

It was unclear whether the Ministry's statement suggested any regulatory obstacle to the deal.

Tengzhong needs approval from the Chinese government, including the Ministry of Commerce, which industry and government officials say holds the ultimate authority over the deal.

Chinese officials have signaled that the deal would be treated favorably, Jim Taylor, the GM executive who has helped steer the sale, said on Friday.

A completed deal would mark the first major acquisition of distressed U.S. auto assets in the global downturn by Chinese firms seeking to acquire higher profile names and more advanced technology.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Andy Bruce)