Report: Beijing Halts iPhone 6 Sales

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Chinese officials have ordered Apple to halt sales of two iPhone models in Beijing.

The city's intellectual property regulator ruled that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus designs are too similar to a Chinese handset, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cupertino's devices—the latest versions available in the Asian country—allegedly infringe on a patent for an exterior design held by Shenzhen Baili for its 100C smartphone. Apple now has the option to appeal the ruling to a higher court, the Journal said.

Neither the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau nor Apple immediately responded to PCMag's request for comment.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in mainland China in October 2014 after a licensing issue delayed their arrival by a month. That backlog drove desperate iPhone buyers to the black market, where a 128GB iPhone 6 could sell for upwards of $2,440.

This is not the first time Apple has faced legal challenges from little-known Chinese companies. In 2012, a firm known as Proview claimed ownership of the iPad name in China and petitioned to ban the sale of the tablet there. Apple and Proview eventually settled for $60 million.

More recently, the State Council of the People's Republic of China shuttered the iBooks Store and iTunes Movies in the country with little explanation.

Apple can't really afford to lose a ton of business in China. The tech titan in April posted its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, and first revenue drop in 13 years—thanks in part to weakness in markets like China.

Perhaps in a bid to boost its reputation in the region, Apple just made a $1 billion investment in local Uber rival Didi Chuxing.

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