World

Coronavirus outbreak: Apple extends store closures in China

Apple Inc. is extending its retail store closures in China by a few days as the coronavirus continues to spread, potentially crimping sales in a critical region for longer than expected.

Last week, Apple said it would close all 42 stores in China until Feb. 10 in an “abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts.”

The company is now extending this, with most stores remaining closed until Feb. 15, according to a Bloomberg News review of Apple’s retail websites in China. Apple is “making preparations” to reopen the stores in China, the company said Friday in a statement, but didn’t provide specific dates. The store websites earlier on Friday said that some locations would reopen on Feb. 13 or Feb. 14, but the situation remains fluid.

In its statement, Apple said it’s working to reopen corporate offices and contact centers in China the week of Feb. 10 after “thorough consultation with public health experts and government authorities.” Its online store remains open.

“The entire Apple family is committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China,” Apple said. “As we gradually return to work, our first priority is the well-being of our teams, supplier partners and customers across China. Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the coronavirus and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.”

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