Apple has been barred from selling its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in Beijing, after intellectual property regulators cited a strong similarity in their phones an existing Chinese phone.
The order was issued by the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau.
Apple has said that it is appealing the ruling. According to CNBC, a statement released by Apple read,
“IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China… We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.”
Over the past year, the computer giants have come up against demands to comply with new cybersecurity requirements set up by the Chinese as well as content licenses and now a patent case. The growth of China’s economy has seen the country become increasingly demanding over key industries including technology.
The iPhone models in question allegedly infringe upon a Chinese patent for the exterior of Shenzhen Bail’s 100C smartphone, according to a statement dated 19 May on the Beijing Intellectual Bureau’s website.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a few mobile phone stores in Beijing had already stopped selling the two iPhone models months ago. Apple will end the production of their older models soon.
The Wall Street Journal also states that Apple have been battling the patent with Shenzhen Baili for over a year.
China is Apple’s largest market outside of the US, with falling iPhone sales in China being a major factor in Apple’s posting its first quarterly decline in revenue for 13 years back in April. China has also restricted access to Apple’s iBooks and iTunes Movies services. Apple were told by Chinese regulators that it lacked the necessary licenses.
Last month, Apple announced a $1billion investment in Chinese company Didi Chuxing Technology Co. This unusual investment into the Chinese Uber equivalent has prompted sceptical analysts to believe that the investment was made in part to form a better relationship with Beijing.