Apple banned in China

You can’t buy Apple iPhones in China anymore!

Well, actually… For now the court injuction is not in force yet, however, things may change in the future. Let’s start from the beginning.

Qualcomm dispute over patents

The open battle between Apple and Qualcomm over intellectual property covering wireless networks and devices has lasted for quite a while now, so you could think that things are going to get resolved soon. In fact, not so long ago both enterprises decided to break off negotiations and go to the court. For one of them it wasn’t the best idea. A Chinese court decided to preliminary ban import and sale of almost all models of iPhone’s which are available in China. What is interesting is the fact, that the case did not relate to the wireless networks what actually started this dispute, but the violation of two patents which the Qualcomm owns.

Apple is not going to give up

Apple has issued a statement, however, saying that “all iPhone models remain available for our customers in China.” Apparently, according to the filling, new models with iOS 12 have undergone changes which void Qualcomm’s complaint.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple in a statement for CNBC

What is more, iOS 12 can run on all the devices named in the decision, so the impact of it is still unclear. If the court rule were to come in force it would be a huge step back for Apple, since China generates 1/5 of the company’s revenue.


The future

Even though it might look like Apple is in big trouble, the fact is that they have a solid background.

“Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”

This means that Apple is going to appeal to higher instances, for what they 10 days from the day of the preliminary ban. However, the future doesn’t look so bright for Qualcomm either. Apple stopped paying licensing fees and no longer uses its chips in the iPhone’s. That’s contributed to a string of annual revenue declines for the company.

Recently Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that he has interest in settling the case, but he expects a lengthy legal battle.  Considering that the dispute is already two years old, we might not see the end of it in the upcoming months. As for now we can only sit back and watch how the things are going to get resolved.



  1. Miller, C. (2017, February 01). Tim Cook says he’s open to settling Qualcomm lawsuit, but expects a lengthy legal battle. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from
  2. King, I., Decker, S., & Gurman, M. (2018, December 11). IPhone Ban in China May Push Apple, Qualcomm Toward Settlement. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from
  3. Górecki, D. (2018, December 11). Chiński sąd orzekł na korzyść Qualcomm i zakazał sprzedaży iPhone`ów. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from



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3 thoughts on “Apple banned in China

  1. Avatar Głazek Maciej says:

    I think this might have a political background. Apple is a very big US company and a major part of its income comes from china, as it has already big, and still growing upper and middle classes. As we know USA and People’s Republic of China are in an ongoing trade war. The goal is to hit economy and what better way than banning a US company that makes it’s major part of revenue in your country. They say that is only patent related, but they asked US trade regulators to ban specific iPhone models. I think is well aware that stealing patents from a major chipmaker can’t go well and they wouldn’t do so, but remember “correlation does not imply causation”.

  2. Avatar Kovalenko Oleksandr says:

    I think thaat this ban on iPhone sales in China is part of Trade war between China and US. People are subject to their believes but the fact is, Huawei CFO got arrested in Canada under US request, shortly later China approved an injunction to iPhone sales. This injunction is from a country that ruled Samsung did not infringed on Apple’s patented UI design even after there was a internal document from Samsung that surfaced that stated to copied Apple’s UI. And also from a country that not only didn’t do anything but encourage their home brand companies to copy phone designs from Samsung and Apple.
    I won’t be surprised if China government is going to continue to use Qualcomm’s requests as a mean to continue to hurt Apple, as a message to US for this trade war.

    I won’t be surprised if China government is going to continue to use Qualcomm’s requests as a mean to continue to hurt Apple, as a message to US for this trade war.

  3. Avatar Kuchur Dzianis says:

    Of course, it is a part of a trade war between China and US. After sales of Huawei and ZTE smartphones were banned in the United States, it is a logical response from China government.If this news is confirmed it will be a big blow to Apple because Chinese market is key to many phone producers. Most likely Apple will have to raise the price of their products that will negatively affect ordinary customers.

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