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Apple's retail efforts in China are slowly being brought back to normal during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, with the iPhone maker reopening 10 more stores in the country, including the first store it closed due to the epidemic.
On February 14, Apple opened all five of its Apple Stores in Beijing, outlets that were closed along with all others in the country as part of a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus epidemic. In a continuation of its plan on February 19, Apple is opening back up another ten of its stores in the region.
The ten stores include the Hong Kong Plaza, Nanjing East Road, and Pudong outlets in Shanghai; Vientiane City and Taikoo Li in Chengdu; Hang Lung Plaza and Centennial City in Dalian; Pearl River New City and Sky Plaza in Guangzhou; and Qingdao Vientiane City. The Qingdao store is arguably the most important of the ten, as it was the first Apple outlet to be closed as part of attempts to curtail the outbreak.
All ten of the outlets will reopen with limited business hours, similar to how the five Beijing stores reopened, running from either 11am or 12am local-time until 6pm, according to each store's website listing. While it is unclear if the stores will also have measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus like the Beijing stores, including temperature checks of visitors and maximum occupancy limits, it is likely Apple will apply the same opening conditions to the stores.
Even with the reopening of more stores, the majority of Apple's 42 retail outlets in the country will remain closed until further notice, though that is likely to change over the course of the month.
Apple and coronavirus impacts
A major global issue, the coronavirus is causing problems for Apple on both the retail side and manufacturing, as it attempts to meet the demands of government agencies and implements alternate plans for production.
Apple's suppliers, such as major Apple assembly partner Foxconn, have used initiatives such as requesting employees stay away from work as part of an extended Lunar New Year holiday period and keeping factories closed, in part through Chinese government demands. It is unclear when Foxconn will be up and running, but even so, it may be some time before it operates at full capacity.
Apple has also warned investors it will be missing its quarterly guidance due to the coronavirus.