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February 2, 2020

Apple temporarily shuts all stores on Chinese mainland

February 2, 2020

BEIJING: Apple said on Saturday it will temporarily shut down all its stores and corporate offices on the Chinese mainland through February 9 due to public health concerns.

The company also said it looked forward to re-opening the stores as soon as possible.

Earlier this week, Apple closed three stores in China due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

It's joining a handful of overseas retailers, including Starbucks Corporation and McDonald's Corporation, that have temporarily shut storefronts as a precautionary measure, reported a British Wire service.

Meanwhile, many other companies have called for employees in China to work from home and cease non-essential business travel in the first week of February.

Businesses in China would have started to return to normal following the end of the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year Holiday, but many cities have pushed the holiday back several days to try to address the virus outbreak.

Apple remains heavily reliant on China both for smartphone sales, supply chain and manufacturing. Many factories in Hubei province, including plants run by AB InBev and General Motors Co, have also temporarily suspended production due to the virus.

During a recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working out mitigation plans to deal with possible production loss from its suppliers in Wuhan. The city where the virus outbreak originated is home to several Apple suppliers.