Coronavirus outbreak: Apple temporarily closes all offices, stores in China
In a bid to keep its staffers safe from the deadly outbreak of coronavirus, Apple is shutting down its offices in China, temporarily. The action from the company comes just a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak, which has so far led to over 250 deaths, a global public health emergency. Here's all about it.
All offices, stores to remain shut till February 9
As reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has issued a notice announcing the decision to shut down all corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China. The establishments will remain closed till February 9, the company said while adding that the decision has been taken "out of an abundance of caution" over coronavirus and on the basis of "advice from leading health experts."
Online stores will remain open
While the physical outlets/offices have been closed owing to the virus outbreak, online stores continue to operate, Apple emphasized. However, as of now, it is not clear if the factories manufacturing the iPhone family, run by Foxconn, will also be closed. Earlier this week, Foxconn had said it is monitoring the situation but doesn't expect production targets to be impacted by the outbreak.
Here's the full statement from Apple
Will this affect Apple iPhone sales?
China is one of Apple's biggest markets, making up around 15% of the company's overall revenue. As such, if, by any chance, the closure of stores/offices is extended, the sales of its hardware could be affected. To note, after a dull last year, Apple has made a comeback in China, with the sales of iPhone, wearables, and services increasing by double digits.
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases, deaths continue to increase
The move makes Apple the latest company to take action in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The infectious, never-seen-before virus has affected more than 11,000 people around the world and claimed over 250 lives, most being around Wuhan - the place from where it started spreading. To track the spread of coronavirus, use this map available online: https://bit.ly/31eb81m.