Apple Inc said on Saturday that it would close all its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China by 9 February as fears of a coronavirus outbreak and death toll rose to more than 250 a week earlier.
Apple said in a statement, “With an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we are closing all our corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China from February 9.” It is expected to open the store as soon as possible.
Earlier this week, Apple closed three stores in China due to concerns about the spread of the virus.
Several factories in Hubei Province, including AB InBev and General Motors Company, have temporarily suspended production due to the virus. Picture: Reuters
It is joining some foreign retailers, including Starbucks Corp and McDonald’s Corp, as a precaution, with Storefront being temporarily discontinued.
Meanwhile, several other companies have called on employees in China to work from home and discontinued non-essential business travel in the first week of February.
Generally, businesses in China will be preparing to return to normal operations after the New Year holiday at the end of the week. Apple is heavily dependent on China for both smartphone sales as well as its supply chain and manufacturing. Several factories in Hubei Province, including AB InBev and General Motors Company, have temporarily suspended production due to the virus.
In a recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the company plans mitigation to deal with potential production losses from its suppliers in Wuhan. The city where the virus outbreak is home to many Apple suppliers.