Apple to open Beijing flagship in time for 2008 Olympic games

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Apple Inc. will flaunt its surging brand before the estimated three million visitors who will flock to Beijing, China for this Summer's Olympic with the launch of a large retail store near the center of the capital city.

The store, which has been shrouded in secrecy for the better part of its developmental process, is due to turn up on Qianmen Street, a historic half-mile long avenue at the south end of Tiananmen Square that is undergoing an extensive $40 million renovation.

According to ifoAppleStore, construction is underway to improve the utilities, repave the street with green and white marble, restore building façades to their 1920-1930 appearance, re-introduce a tram and rebuild the existing Opera House.

"When the street re-opens in May, it will be the second pedestrian-only shopping street in the city, and will feature 300 shops filling over 800,000 square-feet, including several international retailers such as Starbucks and Adidas," ifo said in its report.

Apple's store, which is due to launch ahead of the August 8th Olympic opening ceremonies, will reportedly blend in with the existing Chinese architecture rather than sport the company's traditional glass, black and stainless steel facade.

Decorative flower garden in Tiananmen Square depicting various Olympic sports.

The Beijing store is expected to be just the first of several to arrive in China over the next several years, as Apple seeks to rapidly expand its presence in the region through the launch of products such as the iPhone.