Chinese AI firm seeks to stop Apple iPhone production, sales ahead of ‘iPhone 13’ launch next week

Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, also known as Xiao-i Robot, continues to pursue its nearly decade-long patent dispute with Apple over Siri, seeking to stop iPhone production and sales, even as Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone 13 family and other devices during a virtual event on September 14th.

Siri iconIris Deng for the South China Morning Post:

Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, also known as Xiao-i Robot, last Friday applied to the Shanghai Higher People’s Court for a preliminary injunction to ban the manufacture, sale and export of iPhones containing Siri that infringe on its patent, according to the Chinese company’s statement that was posted on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

Xiao-i Robot chief executive Yuan Hui said in the statement that Apple did not respect its intellectual property. “Apple should immediately stop the infringement, take down and stop selling the related products,” Yuan said.

Responding to a request for comment on Wednesday, an Apple spokeswoman referred to the company’s previous statement issued in August 2020, when it refuted the allegations in Xiao-i Robot’s patent infringement lawsuit that sought 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) in damages.

“Siri does not contain features included in their patent, which relates to games and instant messaging … Independent appraisers certified by the Supreme People’s Court have also concluded that Apple does not infringe Xiao-i Robot’s technology,” Apple said in its statement at that time.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck with that, Xiao-i Robot.


  1. Chinese courts (communist government) sides with plaintiff, even if only temporarily, causing a few months delay in production.

    Apple pressures White House to pressure China.

    China snubs US just like they snubbed John Kerry on environmental issues only two weeks ago.

    Production resumes after a period of time.

    China has successfully flexed their muscles. Apple gets their iPhone production (several months late).

  2. Tim Cook is a failure at operations. He put all his production in hostile Chinese production sites. He is a failure to follow business 101 rules. DIVERSIFY!. He should have major production sites for iPhones in Europe, South America, and most importantly, in the USA. Even if the USA is a small part of production.

    At least there is now some capacity in India, but this needs to be way further diversified. And Vietnam, another hostile communist hole is not diversification.

    People need to point out what an loser failure cook is on this count and frankly call for his resignation over it.

    While this patent may be boloney on its merits, in china it’s all political. They could just decide apple infringes just because. And if not this boloney patent, the next one.

    Cook has learned nothing from the pandemic and basic business rules of diversification. He’s got to go.

    Until production is diversified, every podunk petty dictator will come at apple with a new ‘this is a stickup’. Cook has put, and has kept apple in this precarious position and it’s unacceptable.


    1. Tim is doing a great job!

      Which countries on earth should he diversify to? Which countries are capable of manufacturing and assembly of Apple products on the scale Apple requires? Vietnam, Malaysia, United States, India, other country?

      This isn’t about building a factory down the street to make iPads. It is about the entire manufacturing ecosystem. The factories that make the tiny screws by the hundreds millions have to be connected to the factories (staffed by the hundreds of thousands) where the screws are needed. Every single component has to be shipped to the assembly line. Where are all of those factories? How and where to house and feed two or three hundred thousand workers? What about separate a dedicated hospital, fire station and police force for the factory?

      Once the devices are assembled, how are you going to get them from the factories to the airports or harbors? Is the harbor deep enough to handle the monster cargo ships? The the roads between the factories (plural) and airport handle the truck traffic? Are they working 24/7? Is the airport closest to the factories designed to handle export on the scale needed? Are there enough warehouses at the airport to handle the endless stream of pallets waiting for export? Are customs at the harbor and airport running 24/7.

      China has been designing and building their manufacturing / assembly business for the last 50 years to get it to where it is now. How long will it take Vietnam, Malaysia, India to catch up? 20, 30, 40 years? How about manufacture in California? The factories might be ready in 2098. Might be.

      Apple hasn’t even been in business that long.

      People complain that an iPhone costs US 1,400. What if they cost US 4,400? How much would a US made iPhone cost? US10,400?

      1. Red herring. Apple doesnt have to build ALL it’s iPhones in ONE OTHER country. It needs to pepper production throughout. So maybe it builds 30% in china. 30% in India. Then 5% in germany. 20% in Brazil. 5% in the US. then 5% in Vietnam and 5% in Malaysia. Something like that.

        While I agree that few countries have the capacity to build ALL iPhones, many have enough resources to build some. And that is the entire point of diversification.

        Somehow Foxcon can build a plant her in the US and other places. Apple certainly can.

      2. Tim Crook betrayed all of us. Whatever leverage he had when Jobs was alive he has squandered.

        Jobs bragged about building factories in Malaysia. China only got as far as it did by tricking vain simpletons like this into building factories for them. All this manufacturing capability came about within a few decades.

        Now Tim Crook has to pretend there’s a good reason he’s going along with CCP practice of warrantless surveillance of customers. Xi owns him. And millions of us will never buy another Apple device. This from someone who has been an advocate of Apple since the mid 1980’s, and spent hundreds of hours defending them when they were stumbling in the 1990’s. Anyone close to Apple who doesn’t understand what a disaster this is, hasn’t been paying attention.

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