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Chinese company suing Apple to ban iPhone 6 'barely exists,' says report

The company, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services, no longer answers its phone, has dumped its websites and can't be found at its three registered locations, says the Wall Street Journal.


Apple is being sued for patent infringement over the iPhone 6 by a Chinese company no one can seem to locate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A Chinese company suing Apple for patent infringement appears to be virtually non-existent.

Known as Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services, the company filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2014, claiming that the iPhone 6 and 6S looked too much like its 100C phone. Baili wanted a ban placed on iPhone 6 sales in Beijing, something the capital city's intellectual property regulator was prepared to do. But Apple filed an appeal, which means the iPhone 6 lineup remains on sale in Beijing.

Phone calls to Baili, which is owned by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Digione, were unanswered, according to the Wall Street Journal. Baili's websites no longer exist. And visits by the Journal to the three registered locations turned up no company offices.

CNET attempted to track down Baili but couldn't find a website for the company.

Further, Baili and Digione are both broke as their debt is greater than their overall assets. Digione's collapse was the result of "buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition," former employees and investors told the Journal.

The lack of any obvious presence is just the latest wrinkle in the bizarre case that has wrapped up Apple in yet another patent infringement case. The lawsuit highlights the tough environment Apple faces in China, which also ruled earlier this year that Apple doesn't own the rights to the iPhone trademark.

Despite its lack of presence, Baili is "still operational in its necessary functions," and will continue to fight Apple in court, Digione lawyer Andy Yang told the Journal. Baili may even think about escalating its lawsuit to include the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, Yang added. But with its appeal in place, Apple needn't worry about a ban on iPhone sales in Beijing, at least not for now.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.