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Apple must respect court ban on iPhone sales, Chinese anti-counterfeit alliance says

Key Points
  • Apple must respect a court order banning the sales of some iPhones "rather than defy and even trample the Chinese law by leveraging its super economic power and clout," the China Anti-Infringement and Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance said on Thursday.
  • The Beijing-based alliance is a non-government organization which seeks to protect intellectual property rights, according to state news agency Xinhua. It was not immediately clear how much influence the group has.
  • Apple declined to comment, and Qualcomm did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
A man is reflected on a screen showing the iPhone XR at an Apple store in Beijing on January 3, 2019.
Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

A national Chinese anti-counterfeit alliance called on Apple on Thursday to comply with a court order banning sales of some iPhones in the country.

The order was made in December at Qualcomm's request, and the iPhone maker has appealed to overturn the ban.

The court in China, the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court, issued two preliminary injunctions against four of Apple's Chinese subsidiaries for patent infringement. The two California-based companies have been entangled in a years-long legal dispute over patent royalties that is being fought out globally.

Apple must respect the court "rather than defy and even trample the Chinese law by leveraging its super economic power and clout," the China Anti-Infringement and Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance said in an English-language statement on its website on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear how much influence the alliance has.

The Beijing-based alliance is a non-government organization which seeks to protect intellectual property rights, according to state news agency Xinhua. The group's members include several Chinese trade associations, universities, Alibaba, JD.com and Xiaomi and has offices in Hangzhou, Xiamen, Tokyo, Seoul and San Francisco.

"The Alliance has noticed that the four Chinese subsidiaries of Apple Inc. concerned have not performed this order and even refused to receive the written injunction order legally served by the court," the statement said. "Such an act has attracted broad attention, sparked heated discussions and even evoked great indignation in China and abroad."

Apple declined to comment, and Qualcomm did not immediately respond to CNBC 's request for comment.

On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook lowered fiscal first quarter revenue and gross margin guidance, citing challenges in the Greater China economy that have been exacerbated by trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The stock dropped nearly 10 percent in New York trading Thursday in its worst day in about six years.

Separately, Qualcomm announced Thursday it posted security bonds in order to put into effect a German court order that will ban sales of some iPhones in Germany. The court ruled in December that Apple had infringed on the chipmaker's patents on power-saving technology in smartphones.

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