Apple is reportedly gearing up to open two new stores in China which will be positioned near the Foxconn factories that assemble the large majority of its Mac and iOS devices. There are currently only five Apple retail stores on China’s mainland — three in Shanghai and two in Beijing — but Chengdu and Shenzhen could be home to another two very soon.
That’s according to government officials who revealed Apple’s plans today. According to a Reuters report, which cites an official with the Chengdu Industry and Commerce Administration bureau, the Cupertino company received approval for the Chengdu store in late May.
But Apple could have trouble selling its iPad in the new stores, thanks to its ongoing legal dispute with one Chinese company over the iPad trademark. Proview Technology has been trying to secure a large payout for many months after suing Apple for its use of the iPad name, which still belongs to Proview in China.
Roger Xie, a lawyer for Proview, told Reuters that if Apple attempts to sell the iPad there, the company would seek an injunction to stop them. This is believed to be one of the reasons why the latest device is yet to arrive their.
But that’s unlikely to put Apple off. China is becoming an increasingly large market for Apple, which cannot get enough of its products. The demand for them is so high there that it has spawned large gangs of scalpers and smugglers who obtain the latest devices simply to sell them on for huge profits.
By expanding its reach in the country, Apple will be hoping to prevent so many of its products entering the grey market.