Despite virus fears, over half of Apple retail stores reopen in China

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Some Apple Stores in China reopen despite coronavirus.
Some Apple Stores in China are cautiously reopening but with reduced hours because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Photo: Apple

Many Apple Stores across China are open again, despite the coronavirus that has shut down so much of the country.

The iPhone maker depends on China for a significant percentage of its sales, and Apple being able to reopen so many stores in the midst of this crisis is a positive sign.

Apple tries to bounce back from coronavirus

Early this month, as the number of people stricken with COVID-19 grew, all Apple Stores in China closed. However, as time passed an increasing number reopened. And now 29 of that country’s 42 brick-and-mortar stores are back open, according to Reuters.

These Apple locations aren’t ignoring the virus outbreak. The company’s website for that country warns customers “before entering a reopened retail store, please wear a mask and take a temperature test.” Some stores are operating with reduced hours.

It won’t be easy

There’s no word on when the remaining Apple Stores in China will turn the lights back on, but Apple needs them back in business as quickly as possible. The company already expects to fall short of its revenue goals this quarter as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Partially, this shortfall is being caused by iPhone factories in China being temporarily shut down, or running at reduced capacity to lower the risk of spreading the virus.

But China itself is a huge market. The country accounted for $13.6 billion in Apple revenue last quarter — almost 15% of the total. Customers can’t buy iPhones, Macs and iPads from closed Apple Stores. That’s why getting the stores back open is so important.

That said, COVID-19 isn’t restricted to China any more, deepening the crisis. Apple’s share price fell 4.75% today on reports of outbreaks in other countries. Other stocks fell as well, leading to a drop of over 1,000 points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

So far, this coronavirus outbreak has sickened over 80 thousand people worldwide, and killed 2,698, according to Bloomberg.