Chinese firm that had iPhone 6 sales suspended in Beijing 'barely exists,' investigation finds

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2016
Shenzhen Baili -- the company that recently won a Chinese patent ruling over the iPhone 6 -- is now a shadow of its former self, a report said on Wednesday.




Baili's websites have vanished, and the company's registered offices no longer exist, the Wall Street Journal noted. The company is also said to be leaving phone calls unanswered, although a lawyer for Baili's parent company, Digione, insisted that its subsidiary is "still operational in its necessary functions."

Both Baili and Digione are insolvent, in spite of a reported 2013 investment by Chinese web giant Baidu, and a one-time staff of veteran executives. Digione gradually succumbed to competition, poor management, and flaws in its phones, former employees and investors told the Journal.

Baidu for instance is said to have launched a 2014 lawsuit after it discovered its money was being spent on smartphones and other interests, rather than creating a mobile operating system as it expected.

Those phones are moreover said to have skimped on production costs, leading to overheating and other problems. Disappointment in the devices and founder Xu Guoxiang allegedly triggered severe attrition in the company's workforce.

The design patent at the heart of the iPhone 6 dispute dates back to March 2014, around the same time leaked images for the iPhone 6 were emerging. Speculation quickly arose that Digione's patent was based on these leaks, but the company has adamantly denied the accusation.

Several Journal sources claimed that the Apple patent case was actually a marketing ploy rather a serious pursuit -- possibly intended to generate business through controversy. Regardless, Digione's attorney suggested that Baili might expand its lawsuit to cover the iPhone 6s line.
redraider11

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Yeah, leaks came out in Feb 2014 for iPhone 6.. they apply for patent of that design in China April 2014.. so.. yeah.. not hard to see the correlation.
    redraider11airbubblelolliver
  • Reply 2 of 11
    If they do expand their lawsuit to include the 6s, it might explain the "still operational in its necessary functions" remark. At least we'll know what its necessary functions are!
    redraider11airbubblelolliver
  • Reply 3 of 11
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,532member
    It's a 5c clone. 
    edited June 2016 redraider11
  • Reply 4 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,739member
    Point is though, the tech and financial media is trumpeting the “iPhone sales banned in Beijing” headline and nothing else. Apple is Doomed™ gets clicks and sells ads.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 5 of 11
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,574member
    Somehow Dory comes to my mind singing "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."  

    "opportet quod libet", it seems :)
  • Reply 6 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,030member

     "still operational in its necessary functions."

    That is code for Patent Troll.

    lolliverapres587
  • Reply 7 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Tim just needs to put a call into a higher-up working in the Party there and remind them how much money Apple is contributing to their economy (not in terms so crass, however).
  • Reply 8 of 11
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Apple already patented the four rounded corners of iPhone since iPhone 1.  Bali copied Apple.  So its patent is invalid. 
  • Reply 9 of 11
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    lkrupp said:
    Point is though, the tech and financial media is trumpeting the “iPhone sales banned in Beijing” headline and nothing else. Apple is Doomed™ gets clicks and sells ads.
    Yeah, I still remember the "iPhone sales is banned in Beijing" headlines and then the shares dropped the next day, media was buzzing with 'Apple is doomed' theories and everyone in Android/Window camps cheered up like it was in Christmas day. Even until today, people still quoted this as part of Apple's Doom theory.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 10 of 11
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,035member
    seriously Apple lost 20 billion dollars in market capitalization over this rumor?  people are such fools.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,328member
    tzeshan said:
    Apple already patented the four rounded corners of iPhone since iPhone 1.  Bali copied Apple.  So its patent is invalid. 
    Only if they filed in China and it was awarded.
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