Apple has announced that it will close all of its official stores and offices in China until February 9, due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus and the number of deaths that more than doubled to more than 250 people ago one week.
“Due to extreme caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we are closing all of our offices, stores and call centers in China until February 9,” Apple said in a statement.
The company added that it plans to reopen stores “as soon as possible”.
Earlier this week, Apple closed 3 stores in China due to concerns over the spread of the virus, joining a number of foreign retailers, including Starbucks and McDonald’s to temporarily close its stores as a precaution.
Meanwhile, many other companies have invited employees to China to work from home and to stop unnecessary trips to work during the first week of February.
It should be noted that Chinese companies prepare for this period each year to resume their normal activities after the end of the Lunar New Year holiday week.
Apple still relies heavily on China for smartphone sales as well as its supply chain and manufacturing. Several factories have been suspended in Hubei province, including factories run by companies such as AB InBev and General Motors, where production has been temporarily suspended due to the virus.
In the latest call for results, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said: “The company is working on mitigation plans to deal with potential supplier production losses in Wuhan, the city where the epidemic began and is also home to many Apple suppliers. “
Google previously decided to temporarily close all of its offices in China due to the spread of the new coronavirus across the country. This decision concerns the company’s offices in mainland China, as well as offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan.