Managers at a super-high-flying tech company are making a lot of money in a country where the government has failed to keep up with technology growth
In the latest twist in the saga of Apple, the company is facing a new legal challenge to its patent portfolio in China.
The US government has lodged a complaint with a Beijing court that alleges that Apple has violated Chinese law by selling “patent-infringing” products in China without Chinese permission.
Apple declined to comment on the complaint, but a senior executive at one of its suppliers said it had been investigating the allegations and that the company would “defend our intellectual property rights vigorously.”
Apple’s suppliers, including China’s Alibaba Group, have been accused of selling Apple products in breach of China’s laws on trademark infringement and patent monopolies.
China is Apple’s biggest market outside the US, accounting for about 12 percent of Apple’s total sales.
In November, a Chinese court ruled that Apple infringed the intellectual property of its rival company Huawei, which sells devices and services to businesses.
Apple’s patent portfolio is one of the most valuable in the world, with products ranging from the iPhone 5S and the Apple Watch to the iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple is valued at $1.5 trillion.
Its sales in China have surged since President Xi Jinping took office in 2016.
In September, the government announced a crackdown on “foreign-made goods” that the government claims hurt the national economy.