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Friday, September 19, 2014, 10:39

iPhone 6 still lacks license for mainland

By Agencies
iPhone 6 still lacks license for mainland

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the iPhone 6 during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on Sept 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Apple Inc's iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but requires one more critical license before it can legally be sold on the Chinese mainland, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.

The company has not yet issued an iPhone 6 release date for the mainland, one of its most important markets, which has led to widespread speculation it is having difficulty obtaining the requisite licenses from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which tests new phones before they may enter national telecom networks.

Apple still has to obtain a network access license for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said.

It remains unclear when the new iPhone will receive full clearance, although Thursday's report signals the process has not completely stalled.

The company has not issued a comment about the iPhone's launch on the Chinese mainland aside from saying it is working to bring the device to the market as soon as possible.

Apple is hiring a head of law enforcement in Beijing to deal with user data requests from the government, according to a public job listing. Last month, it began storing private data on Chinese soil for the first time.

According to the job listing, which was posted on professional networking site LinkedIn, the position will handle the "increasing number of third-party requests for access to Apple-controlled data within China".

The hiring of a head of law enforcement demonstrates the trade-off that comes with placing data storage within China, a move some technology companies have avoided.

Having a server in the country can provide faster service to domestic customers, but it also means the Chinese government can demand the servers' data, as is the case in other countries.

"The role will be directly responsible for the management, handling and issuance of appropriate responses to requests from law enforcement authorities, public prosecutors and courts, throughout China," said the posting on LinkedIn.

Apple declined to comment but referred to the company's new privacy policy, including a section on government data requests.

The job was initially posted in early August and was reposted last week. The advertisement has received 11 applicants, according to LinkedIn.

Technology companies including Google Inc, Yahoo Inc and Facebook Inc routinely employ staff on their legal teams to determine how to respond to government requests for data.

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