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When the joint processing technique is applied in the coordinated multipoint (CoMP) downlink transmission, the user data for each mobile station needs to be shared among multiple base stations (BSs) via backhaul. If the number of users is large, this data exchange can lead to a huge backhaul signaling overhead. In this paper, we consider a multi-cell CoMP network with multi-antenna BSs and single antenna users. The problem that involves the joint design of transmit beamformers and user data allocation at BSs to minimize the backhaul user data transfer is addressed, which is subject to given quality-of-service and per-BS power constraints. We show that this problem can be cast into an ℓ0-norm minimization problem, which is NP-hard. Inspired by recent results in compressive sensing, we propose two algorithms to tackle it. The first algorithm is based on reweighted ℓ1-norm minimization, which solves a series of convex ℓ0-norm minimization problems. In the second algorithm, we first solve the ℓ2-norm relaxation of the joint clustering and beamforming problem and then iteratively remove the links that correspond to the smallest transmit power. The second algorithm enjoys a faster solution speed and can also be implemented in a semi-distributed manner under certain assumptions. Simulations show that both algorithms can significantly reduce the user data transfer in the backhaul.