Apple has decided to cease Apple Store operations in China, specifically the ones in Fuzhou and Nanjing area in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Tim Cook, Apple CEO has announced that the Apple Store in Qingdao has been temporarily closed as well, bringing the total to three. Other retail locations are running limited hours.
The Cupertino-based company intends to reopen the Qingdao store on February 4 while the Fuzhou and Nanjing stores are expected to open February 3. Currently, employee travel is restricted to operations deemed ‘business critical’, and employees in China have received care kits.
The virus has hit 6,000 cases and Chinese suppliers are closed due to the outbreak and Chinese New Year. Cook mentioned that they’re working to avoid production slowdown and that sales have slowed down largely due to retail store closings and consumers who would rather stay at home. Cook also made a lower guidance range in expected sales between $63 to $67B.