Government authorities and retailers have reportedly begun removing iPads from stores in China this morning, in apparent response to a ruling issued in December. According to China's Hebei Youth Daily, local representatives of the country's Administrations of Industry and Commerce (AIC) have started confiscating Apple's tablet from retail outlets, with some merchants voluntarily removing the device from their storefronts as a preemptive measure. The scope of this operation remains unclear, though China.com reports that as of 5:00 PM yesterday, authorities had seized some 45 iPad 2s. Retailers who voluntarily removed their iPads apparently did so to protect their stocks from confiscation, and are reportedly continuing to sell the tablet behind the counter. These reports come nearly two months after Apple lost a trademark lawsuit against Proview Technology, which successfully defended its ownership of the iPad name within China. We're still waiting to see whether this is part of a larger nationwide campaign and Apple has yet to comment, but we'll update this post as soon as we hear more.
Update: China's iFeng is now reporting that these seizures took place in the city of Shijiazhuang, as part of what appears to be an isolated campaign.
Update 2: Looks like the iPad is no longer on sale at Amazon China.