Apple has filed applications to open new retail locations in China. Reuters reported that the company wants to open Apple Stores in Shenzhen and Chengdu as part of its efforts to increase its retail presence in the world’s most populous country.
Apple Stores in China
If Shenzhen sounds familiar to you, that’s where a number of Apple-centric stories have developed in recent years. Many of the company’s products are made in Shenzhen, where Foxconn and other companies in its supply chain operate factories. It’s also the city where local firms were operating entire fleets of fake Apple Stores and other unauthorized resellers, some of whom were selling fake Apple products.
Proview Technology is also headquartered in Shenzhen—Proview is embroiled in a trademark dispute with Apple over the iPad name. Proview sold the rights to the “IPAD” trademark to Apple only to then claim that the rights to mainland China were not included in the sale.
The two companies have been battling it out in court, with Proview accusing Apple of fraud and unfair competition, and Apple accusing Proview of misleading Chinese courts. Apple offered US$16 million to Proview to settle the case in May, an offer that was rejected.
Proview has already promised that it will seek an injunction against Apple if the company tries to sell the iPad in Shenzhen Considering the fact that the Chinese government has gone on record as saying that Proview owns the IPAD trademark, it’s conceivable that Proview would be granted an injunction.
Nonetheless, Shenzhen is a large city, and an Apple Stores in a market that was already supporting 20 or more fake Apple Stores would likely do well. Reuters reported that Apple filed paperwork to open a retail stores in Holiday Plaza, an upscale mall in a district called Nanshan.
“Apple is in the final stage and only needs to submit an environmental permit in order to gain approval,” a semi-anonymous bureaucrat with the Market Supervision Administration said.
Off in Chengdu, Apple has filed paperwork with the Chengdu Industry and Commerce Administration bureau for permission to establish a new business unit to manage retail operations in that city.