Internet retail titan Amazon has pulled iPads from its website in China at Apple's request, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The Journal cited unnamed sources as saying the move by Apple was unrelated to a copyright battle over the iPad name in China but instead due to Amazon not being an authorized reseller of the coveted tablet computers.
Amazon reportedly removed iPads offered by other resellers on its Chinese website as well.
Neither company responded to AFP requests for comment.
The news comes as Apple is embroiled in a legal fight with a Chinese electronics firm that claims the rights to the "iPad" name in that country.
Proview Technology (Shenzhen) says it owns the Chinese rights for the name "iPad" and has prompted authorities to seize the devices from sellers in some China cities.
Proview said on Tuesday that it is preparing to ask customs to prevent Apple from bringing the iconic tablet computers into China -- one of the US company's biggest markets.
Apple last year took the firm to a Chinese court, claiming trademark infringement, but the court unexpectedly rejected the case over lack of evidence.
Proview is owned by a Taiwanese company that registered the trademark name "iPad" in several countries including China as early as 2000 -- years before Apple began selling the product.
The US giant subsequently bought the rights for the global trademark, but Proview claims it retained the Chinese rights.
Apple said it is the rightful owner of the trademark.
The craze for all things Apple in China has triggered widespread cloning of iPhones and iPads over the years.
In July, an American blogger uncovered fake Apple stores in the southwestern city of Kunming, and police in Shanghai arrested five people in September for making counterfeit iPhones.
Explore further: Apple accused of copyright infringement in China