China is one of the fastest growing markets for Apple products, and the company plans to open its flagship stores in two major Chinese commercial centers – Chengdu and Shenzhen. Meanwhile, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to fight Proview technology over the use of iPad trademark.
Apple submitted documents on Monday to the Shenzhen government to open a store in Holiday Plaza, an upscale mall in the Nanshan district, according to an official with the Market Supervision Administration who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “Apple is in the final stage and only needs to submit an environmental permit in order to gain approval,” he said.
The company has already received approval from Chengdu Industry and Commerce Administration Bureau in Chengdu.
The upcoming stores will help Apple further strengthen its position in Chinese market. The company presently has only five stores in Mainland China, two in Beijing and three in Shanghai. However, the selling of iPad in Shenzhen can lead to further legal troubles for Apple. Roger Xie, a lawyer for Proview Technology, told Reuters that if Apple tried to sell the popular tablets there, Proview would seek an injunction to stop them.
Proview and Apple are undergoing court-mediated negotiations over the use of iPad trademark in the Higher People’s Court in Guangzhou. The flagship stores of Apple are usually jam packed with people mucking around for the latest iPhones, iPods and iPads.
Piracy is another pervasive problem in China where there are entire range of fake Apple stores. More surprisingly, employees at these stores thought they actually worked for Apple. Another big problem for Apple, is the unauthorized re-sellers in smaller cities that sell smuggled imports of its products.