A day after Apple announced that it would open some of its retail stores in Beijing on February 14, one of its seven retail stores in Shanghai would also be reopened from February 15. Apple said on Friday that the store would be operational with limited hours - likely following the timing of the Beijing stores from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. instead of being open for 12 hours from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Apple's decision comes as the country continues its battle against the deadly novel coronavirus, Covid-19. The widespread of the disease has claimed 1,380 lives so far and infected 63,851 people in China. Adding to the mounting fears of people, the incurable disease has spread to at least 24 countries.
Apple, like many other multinational companies, had shut their Chinese stores and seized operations following the advice of health experts. Apple had extended its retail store closures in China last week. Most Apple stores have been shut since earlier this month, but the company had hoped to reopen its stores "as soon as possible."
Coronavirus halts a nation and beyond
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak in China, which started in Wuhan city, overseas travels have been restricted and most nations have been airlifting their citizens. China is the heart of the global supply chain and tech companies have taken a huge hit due to the disease's widespread. While many companies shut operations, some companies continued the production of goods after the Lunar New Year holiday. At large, Covid-19 widespread has led to a lockdown of cities, closures of factories and stores and people have been advised to stay indoors.
Apple is said to have stalled the work on its iPhone 12, which is due to be released later this year. Not just that, the world's largest phone event, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 was canceled over coronavirus concerns and as a result of many tech giants backing out of the event.
Covid-19 has vastly impacted China, but its waves can be across the globe.
Apple has a total of 42 stores in China mainland, out of which five are in Beijing and seven in Shanghai. Apple's store in Pudong district of Shanghai is globally famous for being among the coolest Apple stores in the world. It is a massive cylinder of glass that stretches up out of the ground and visitors descend into the store, which is spread across 16,000 square feet of space.