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Apple Closes All Its Stores In China To Contain The Coronavirus

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Apple is temporarily closing all of its stores in China because of the coronavirus outbreak according to its website.


Apple’s Chinese website says that all its 42 stores will be closed until 9th February 2020. The website, however, remains in operation for its Chinese customers.

“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China through February 9. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and we look forward to reopening our stores as soon as possible,” Apple told CNN in a statement.


More than 11,800 people have been infected in China, with 1200 cases considered critical. Also, about 26 other countries have also reported cases, including Japan, the UK, and Australia.


Apple closes store in China
An Apple Store in China. Photo: poandpo.


The Chinese government has been battling to combat the virus with measures like locking down millions of people in major cities and extending the Lunar New Year holiday.

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Chinese streets are growing emptier due to the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday, meaning there’s less foot traffic to the Apple stores.


Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call that Apple had been regularly deep cleaning stores this week. Also, it is conducting temperature checks on its employees to avoid spreading the virus.


He further said that although sales in the Wuhan store, one of the first to close, were relatively small, he expects a decline in retail traffic. The other store closures will also likely impact sales negatively. Apple makes 15% of its total revenue from its sales in China.

Coronavirus could affect Apple’s Supply Chain if it is not quickly contained

Analysts expect that the immediate impact of the virus will be relatively small. However, that could change if the outbreak goes on much longer.


“The coronavirus impact looks to be, at worst, 3% of iPhone units pushing out from March to June. However, if the lockdown in China [and] outbreak spills into later February or March, then we have darker storm clouds on the horizon for the tech space and global markets, with China consumer demand doldrums,” said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.


Ives said the outbreak continuing into late February 2020, could bring “systemic risks” to Apple’s supply chain.


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