Apple continues to face issues in China: the Associated Press reports that photos have started circulating on Chinese social media showing young Chinese wearing scarves with patriotic slogans smashing Apple iPhones as a sign of protest against the US company. Protesters also targeted the KFC brand.
The report suggests these protests are related to Beijing’s spat with the Philippines over the South China Sea: the protesters call for a boycott as the government alleges the US-backed Manila to oppose Beijing’s claims to vast tracts of ocean.
During the current year Apple has faced various issues in China: first, it was forced to suspend its iBooks and iTunes Movies services, due to new regulations targeting especially foreign firms. Shortly after that, Apple was handed down a ruling to stop the sale of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Beijing after an intellectual property tribunal found that the handsets violated the design patents of a company that “barely exists”, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the same month, Apple also lost exclusive rights for the iPhone trademark in China.
Despite legal hurdles, Apple’s plans in China remain unchanged and “really optimistic” as the company prepares to open five more stores in the country during the current quarter for a total of 40.