China Mobile Strong-Arming Vendors Not to Sell iPhone?

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iPhonAsia reports on an article [Google translation] from Chinese web portal Sina.com noting that a number of retailers that had reached agreements with China Unicom to offer the iPhone there have received threatening letters from rival China Mobile warning them that offering the iPhone is not permitted.
Many cell phone distributors received formal notification that "Selling iPhones is not recommended," or "Selling iPhones is not allowed or China Mobile will fine you or stop cooperation with you."
The issue appears to be with vendors who have distribution agreements with China Mobile and have also been selling phones and service for other wireless carriers such as China Unicom. According to the letter:
Any social channel that signed a contract with us (China Mobile) is not allowed to engage and process related business for our competitors, is not allowed to display and sell competitors' products, is not allowed to market or recommend competitors' products in any form.
Just last week, it was reported that China Mobile is still working to try to land a deal to offer the iPhone, despite having been passed over by Apple in favor of China Unicom after negotiations between Apple and China Mobile faced a number of stumbling blocks.

Article Link: China Mobile Strong-Arming Vendors Not to Sell iPhone?
 

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2008
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I say they should sell the iPhone and tell China Mobile to suck it. But that's just me.

To me, this sounds like what would happen if Verizon was mad that Bestbuy and Walmart offer the iPhone and decided to send them letters say "You cannot sell both Verizon and AT&T phones." Obviously, this is a bad move on China Mobile's part because if they don't want the retailers selling another product, the consumer will wonder: is this other product better?
 
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jimmc

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Apr 28, 2008
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iPhonAsia reports on an article [Google translation] from Chinese web portal Sina.com noting that a number of retailers that had reached agreements with China Unicom to offer the iPhone there have received threatening letters from rival China Mobile warning them that offering the iPhone is not permitted.The issue appears to be with vendors who have distribution agreements with China Mobile and have also been selling phones and service for other wireless carriers such as China Unicom. According to the letter:Just last week, it was reported that China Mobile is still working to try to land a deal to offer the iPhone, despite having been passed over by Apple in favor of China Unicom after negotiations between Apple and China Mobile faced a number of stumbling blocks.

Article Link: China Mobile Strong-Arming Vendors Not to Sell iPhone?
Comments to this thread are naive and unaware of what goes on in China.

"Anti-trust laws"? Are you mad? Regular laws regarding commerce are barely enforced.

Competition and business are a "blood sport" in China. This neither surprises me, nor should it surprise Apple.
 
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samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,211
87
Australia
It’s a shame that this is happening, but what’s the government going to do to stop it? Nothing most likely. Unfortunately as it’s only Apple’s products really, what can anyone do to pressure them to take action?

It would be nice if the world could hang them out to dry till they started playing air, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

On a more personal note I despise China Mobile in HK as they always interfere with my network there. It’s so annoying. Really are a bad company.
 
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j.donald

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2009
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Sad

so sad to hear this info ,

i don't think china govt is going to help apple !!
 
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Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
565
272
BFE, MI
This is standard practice in China. They are used to firing people because there are 100 others who can take a job and threatening others.

The government doesn't care as long as it has money and stays in power.

How about some lead in your toys or melamine in your baby formula?
 
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dvdhsu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2008
964
0
Palo Alto, CA
If they stop cooperating with all these distributors, who WILL distribute them? Does China Mobile have their own stores?
Yes.

I don't dislike China, I'm just going to say that there are a lot of things people do over there that make me raise my eyebrows.
 
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fat phil

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2008
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China Anti-Trust Law?

Let's see how their new antitrust laws handle this...
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but China isn't as progressive as you think.

China's 2008 Anti-Trust law is built around preventing foreign businesses from competing in China. If anything, this law is in China Mobile's favour, since iPhones are a foreign product (I'm sure the irony is not lost on anyone).

Don't read parallels between the naming of western and Chinese laws.

There is also a Anti-Unfair Competition Law, which is very open to interpretation but essentially is similar to trademark & copyright law.

Never forget: China is not a democracy.


If you want to get a feel for how draconian living and running a business in China is, have a read of the Foreign Trade Law. The first line alone in Article 16 gives the State ultimate power:

"1. it is necessary to restrict or forbid the import or export for the purpose of maintaining state security, social public good or public morality;"

The sentence that brought down World of Warcraft!


We're great at complaining about rules, taxes and regulation; but we should never underestimate how much freedom we actually have.

http://www.lehmanlaw.com/resource-c...oreign-investment/foreign-trade-law-2004.html
 
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tretrbuhul

macrumors newbie
Dec 1, 2009
2
0
I accept with information:The issue appears to be with vendors who have distribution agreements with China Mobile and have also been selling phones and service for other wireless carriers such as China Unicom.
 
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