Apple is being sued by a subsidiary of China's broadcasting regulator over the showing of a propaganda film more than 20 years old, according to the Associated Press.
A Beijing court told AP on Saturday that the case had been brought by a state-run production center which alleges Apple has infringed on its exclusive online rights to broadcast Xuebo dixiao. The title loosely translates as "Bloody Fight with the Fierce Enemy", with the film depicting the Chinese army battling Japanese soldiers in northern China in the early 1930s.
The plaintiff is also suing Heyi Information and Technology, the company behind the Youku HD app that reportedly enabled users to watch the film, causing it "huge economic losses", according to the Beijing Haidian District People's Court.
The case was brought by Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center, which comes under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).
The plaintiff wants the two companies to immediately stop broadcasting the film and is seeking compensation of 50,000 yuan ($7,500), plus 20,158 ($3,000) to cover the litigation costs.
This isn't the first time Apple has been targeted by China's media administrative wing. In April, the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores were reportedly forced down by SARFT. The store closures were linked to the release of controversial independent movie Ten Years, which imagines Hong Kong in 2025 with language police, radical protest, and social alienation rife.
The latest case also joins a line of legal spats for Apple in China in recent months. In June, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled that Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringed on the patent rights of another smartphone sold within China, although the company that filed the patent infringement claim was said to "barely exist" following its victory.
In March, Apple lost its exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark in China when a Beijing court ruled that a leather goods manufacturer could continue to sell bags and cases under the same name without fear of legal repercussions.
Apple and other tech companies are also reportedly subject to security reviews in the country, to determine whether products "pose potential security threats" to China and Chinese consumers.
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