Apple reportedly is sending care packages to its employees who are stranded in China by the COVID-19 coronavirus. And among the face masks, hand sanitizer and cookies is a slightly more expensive item: an iPad.
One such care package appears on the Chinese social-networking site Weibo. A letter from Apple accompanying the gifts is also pictured.
Addressed to “Dear Colleagues in Hubei and Wenzhou,” the note says, in part:
“We are sending our best wishes to you, on behalf of the entire Apple Team, together with another CareKit for you and your families. In the kit, you will find comfort items and an iPad which can be used to facilitate children’s online learning or help pass the time during the prolonged stay away from home.”
The Weibo post doesn’t make clear which Apple employees are receiving these care packages. But the mention of people stranded “away from home” suggests they’re are for people from outside China caught in Hubei or Wenzhou during the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus challenges for Apple in China
The COVID-19 epidemic initially caused the shut down of all Apple Stores in China, and the close of many plants that assemble Apple products. Since then, however, the company has been able to reopen a majority of its retail locations in the country.
But while some assembly plants have reopened, getting employees to come back to work amidst fears of the disease has been harder. And, not surprisingly, sales of iPhones in China dropped significantly last month as shoppers stayed home.