IPad Clears Government Hurdle in China

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Apple's iPad has received a safety certification mark from Chinese regulators, putting it on a path that could see the future release of the popular tablet computer in China.

Apple has made no announcement about the iPad being sold in China at this time, said company spokeswoman Carolyn Wu. But the company appears to be preparing it for an entrance into the Chinese market. On Monday, the device was given the China Compulsory Certification by the China Quality Certification Center according to the regulator's Web site.

By receiving the certification, the iPad has cleared a major government hurdle to allow the product to be exported and sold to the Chinese market. But the device will likely need the approval of China's Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Center, said Liu Liang, an analyst with the consulting group iResearch. "This has been just the first step to get it into the Chinese market," he said.

Although the iPad has yet to be officially sold on the mainland, the device has inspired Chinese companies to join the trend of developing tablet computers.

Liang said if the iPad will be sold in China soon, the timing would be ripe, even as the product would face competition from other tablet devices hitting the mainland market. "The iPad is a top tier device and the Apple brand has a great deal of influence among consumers," he added.

Fang Li, an analyst with research firm Analysys International, said the possible high price of the device could be an issue with consumers. But iPad will no doubt attract its share of users, she added.

"The Chinese market and the overseas markets are the same," Li said. "People get excited about these new devices."

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