Apple has asked Amazon to remove resellers' iPad 2 tablets from its Chinese website, as the site is not authorised to sell the product.
Although Amazon is continuing to sell iPad's through official channels, the resellers' products have been removed and fellow online retailer Sunning has also stopped selling the tablet.
Major Chinese electronics store Gome also removed iPad's from its online sales, but has said, "we will not stop selling iPad in brick-and-mortar stores until the final verdict [...] is out."
Despite the ongoing trademark dispute with Proview over the 'iPad' name, this latest move is apparently unrelated to the case. Proview claims to have no knowledge of the decision, and did not request the removal of the iPad from sale in Beijing, which is Amazon's base in China.
According to an inside source who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Amazon have been working on removing the iPad from the site "for weeks", and that it did not pertain to the trademark infringement case.
Yesterday Proview were informed by Chinese customs that their hopes to ban imports and exports of the Apple tablets was "hard to impose" due to Apple's popularity and profile.
Proview has already appealed to local authorities in around 30 cities to enforce a ban on sales. There have been reports of iPad's being seized, including 45 tablets over the weekend in Shijiazhuang.
However, not all of those authorities are on board with the sales ban. A spokesperson for the Qingdao commerce department said, "whether the retailers decide to stop sales or not is up to them. The government is not involved."
A national ban on the product has not been enforced yet, and seems unlikely at this stage.
Although Apple has been silent over Proview's recent actions, it released a statement to China Daily yesterday regarding the ongoing court battle.
"We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago," the statement read, "Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter."
Image source: Hebei Youth Daily/ifeng.com.
- Proview vs. Apple: Exports ban hard to impose
- iPads seized from shelves in China over trademark dispute
- Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S over four patents
- Apple loses 'iPad' trademark in China