With the Coronavirus death toll crossing 250, Apple has announced that they will be shutting all its stores and corporate offices in mainland China till February 9.
“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,” Apple said in a statement adding that they are looking to reopen as soon as possible.
Apple closed three stores in China earlier this week.
Of course, Apple is not the only company shutting stores and offices as precautions. Google has also temporarily shut down all offices in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Apple and Google joins other companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s in temporarily shutting storefronts as precaution. Other companies have asked their employees in China to work from home and stop non-essential business travel in the first week of February. Many factories in Hubei province, including plants run by AB InBev and General Motors Co, have also temporarily suspended production due to the virus.
For China, this is the time the country prepares to return to normal operations after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday but it has all been disrupted by the viral outbreak.
A large chunk of Apple’s smartphone sales, supply chain and manufacturing remains heavily reliant on China.
Apple remains heavily reliant on China both for smartphone sales as well as for its supply chain and manufacturing. In the recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said they were working out mitigation plans to deal with possible production loss from its suppliers in Wuhan.