10 more Apple Stores in China reopen to masked customers


Apple Store in Qingdao
The Apple Store in Qingdao was the first to close amid coronavirus concerns.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple is unlocking the doors to 10 more Apple Stores in China but will remain vigilant as health officials try to contain the deadly coronavirus.

The stores set to reopen today are listed on the store page of Apple’s website. The 10 stores, including the first one closed due to the outbreak, will operate at reduced hours.

Apple has 42 retail sites across China.

The 10 stores are across five districts: Guangzhou, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai and Chengdu. The list, according to a story on the tech news site More, includes Apple Qingdao Vientiane City, the first Apple Store shuttered because of its proximity to the epicenter of the virus.

On Feb. 13 Apple reopened five stores from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but forbid customers from entering without surgical masks. A day later, Apple Stores in Beijing re-opened with employees greeting customers with digital thermometers to take temperatures.

The stores would have reopened following the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, but the government extended the holiday to Feb. 10 to try and contain the rapidly spreading virus, known as COVID-19.

Apple retail chief Deidre O’Brien decided to extend the store closures past Feb. 10. Apple also said the stores are following deep-cleaning protocols after hours.

Apple has reported a slowdown in production due to travel restrictions, quarantines and smaller workforces in the assembly plants.

The store closures have also hit Apple as it tries to gain a bigger piece of the smartphone market in China.

In a report to investors this week, Apple said it will not hit revenue targets for the March quarter. The company said it would come up short because of closed stores and reduced capacity at its production facilities.

Source: iMore