In a signal that China may soften its stand against social networking giant Facebook, the Beijing High Court has ruled in favour of the Cupertino-based company, saying that a Chinese company should not have been allowed to register the “face book” trademark back in 2014.
The Zhongshan Pearl River Drinks Factory in southern Guangdong province that had registered the brand name “face book,” produces food products like potato chips and canned vegetables.
“Under the Chinese law, a multinational with a globally-recognised brand must prove that its trademark is also well known within China,” the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Along with other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook is currently blocked to nearly 700 million internet users in China.
Burt several many people are using virtual private networks (VPNs) which allow them to circumvent the “Great Firewall” to access the site.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to break the ice with China for years. He met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the US last year.
The Facebook founder has also met China’s chief censor officer at his home in San Francisco and reportedly had a meeting with the head of the ruling Communist party’s propaganda apparatus.
In March this year, Zuckerberg was seen jogging through Tiananmen Square with the famous gate to the Forbidden City imperial palace in the background. He was in Beijing to attend the China Development Forum 2016.
Zuckerberg also met Alibaba Group Holdings’s executive chairman Jack Ma and discussed about innovation during the visit.
Ma said Zuckerberg respected Chinese culture, adding that oriental culture and western culture should learn from each other and work collaboratively for a better future.
Last week, Apple lost an appeal in China for its iPhone trademark when a lower court ruled that a Chinese company Xintong Tiandi can use the “iPhone” mark on its leather goods.
“Apple is disappointed the Beijing Higher People’s Court chose to allow Xintong to use the ‘iPhone’ mark for leather goods when we have prevailed in several other cases against Xintong,” the company said in a statement.
“We intend to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to vigorously protect our trademark rights. We work hard to make the best products in the world and want to ensure our customers’ experience is not compromised by companies who try to profit from using our brand,” Apple added.
Apple was set to appeal against the verdict in a higher court.