Beijing regulators have banned iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales for “knocking-off” a local competitor’s design, following a ruling by a Beijing court last month that Apple did not hold the exclusive trademark for the name “iPhone.”
The Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau published a statement on its website stating that the most popular Apple iPhone models in China infringe on the Chinese patent for exterior design held by Shenzhen Baili for its 100C smartphone.
Breitbart News reported last month that a concerted economic war was being waged against Apple by the communist authorities under what they referred to as a “security review” of foreign tech products
But the real problem is a national initiative by China’s President Xi Jinping to curtail the Celestial Empire’s reliance on foreign technology. Xi stated that when it comes to China’s future relating to technology and cyber security: “One viewpoint holds that we must close ourselves off, make a fresh start, thoroughly shake off reliance on foreign technology and rely on indigenous innovation to pursue development. Otherwise, we would always follow in the footsteps of others.”
Xi suggested charting a middle ground to determine “which things can be imported but have to be secure and controllable; which things may be imported, digested and absorbed for re-innovation; which things can be developed in collaboration with others; and for which things we must rely on our own strength and indigenous innovation.”
As a demonstration of how fast the China relationship has soured, Apple reported that its first quarter in January saw sales of 74.78 million iPhones and a profit of $18.4 billion. The main engine behind the most profitable quarter of any public corporation in the history of the planet was iPhone’s market share leap in Greater China to 21 million units, or 27.6 percent of Apple’s total sales.
The first indication to Wall Street analysts that there might be a problem in China came from the state propaganda ministry announcement on April 21 that it would be shutting down Apple’s iBook Store and iTunes.
Then on April 28, Apple reported that second quarter sales in Greater China had tanked by 26 percent, or 5.4 million units. The disastrous performance caused the iPhone to suffer its first quarterly sales decline in history, and Apple’s first total sales decline since 2003.
Two weeks later, a Beijing court ruled that a company named Xintong Tiandi was free to use the “iPhone” trademark on its products.
In what was deemed to be a charm offensive, Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to China and was reported to have met with top political and economic leaders— including “officials in charge of propaganda,” according to sources at Reuters.
But the Beijing June 17 edit banning iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales in the capital city will send a cease-and-deist message across China’s entire 1.3 billion unit cell phone market that the communist authorities are not pleased with Apple and will not look kindly on individuals that visibly display their products.
Apple’s stock price fell by only 2 percent after the Beijing ban announcement, but its shares are down by 25 percent over the last 12 months. Despite the relentless bad news from China, 38 Wall Street analysts recommend buying Apple stock immediately; 9 recommend holding the shares; and no firm recommends selling Apple shares.