Amazon has yanked the iPad from its Chinese Web site following a grievance by Apple that the retail giant is not authorized to sell the tablet in China.
The move was initially thought by some to be related to Apple's feud with Proview Technology, a company that claims it owns the rights to the iPad brand name in China. Earlier this week Chinese officials removed iPads from a third-party reseller following Proview's complaints that Apple refuses to honor the trademark.
Proview had even been threatening to seek a ban of the import and export of the iPad in China. The company quickly reversed that position after Chinese customs authorities said such a ban would be difficult to implement because "many Chinese consumers love Apple products," Proview Chief Executive Yang Long-san told Reuters.
But citing "people with knowledge of the matter," The Wall Street Journal reported today that Apple asked Amazon to remove the iPad 2 from its online storefronts in China because those sites weren't authorized to sell it--not because of the Proview trademark dispute. Apple and Amazon have reportedly been working together over the past few weeks to remove the sales listings for the popular tablet.