Tim Cook has posted on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, saying that Apple is happy to “welcome back employees and customers” to its Apple Stores as they continue to reopen across China.
Cook also reiterated that Apple has doubled its donation to battle the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has so far resulted in the deaths of at least 2,126 people. The vast majority of these have been in mainland China.
Tim Cook’s message reads as follows:
“As we welcome back employees and customers, and work alongside our manufacturing partners to resume operations as safely and steadily as possible, we are holding fast to our commitment to the many communities we’re a part of in China. Apple is contributing to their efforts by doubling our donation to support immediate relief work as well as longer-term communitywide recovery. We are with you.”
Apple closed all 42 Apple Stores in China due to the coronavirus outbreak in early February. They were originally scheduled to reopen February 10, but that date wound up being pushed back due to the severity of the outbreak. Apple has now started to reopen stores, although only on limited hours. The reopened stores include Apple Qingdao Vientiane City. That was the first Apple Store shuttered because of its proximity to the outbreak’s origin.
Tim Cook set up a profile on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo back in 2015. At the time, it was to announce new environmental initiatives in China. While he doesn’t post regularly on it, Cook uses Weibo to communicate directly with Chinese customers. Weibo has more than 500 million registered users, most of them in China.