Last of Apple's 42 stores in China reopens 

Company said Q2 revenue is expected to fall because of disruption to supplies and trade

by AFP
Last of Apple's 42 stores in China reopens 
Customers wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 virus are seen in an Apple shop in Beijing. Photo: Nicholas Asfouri / AFP 

The last of Apple's 42 stores in China reopened on Friday as the country slowly goes back to work following weeks of quarantine that forced the closure of businesses.

The firm announced on February 1 that it would shut all its stores, corporate offices and contact centres across the mainland as the epidemic rapidly spread.

More than 3,100 people have died and over 81,000 were infected in China but the number of cases has declined in recent weeks, suggesting strict quarantine measures have met some success in halting the virus.

Apple's stores have gradually been reopening over the past few days and a company spokeswoman said the remaining few would throw their doors open on Friday March 13.

The company's website shows its stores now have "special operating hours".

Many retailers and eateries in China have shortened their opening hours during the epidemic, many checking customer temperatures and restricting numbers in-store.

Slow return to work, travel restrictions

China has seen a slow return to work after an extended Spring Festival break, when the coronavirus epidemic took hold in the country.

Cities imposed travel restrictions, many of which remained in place over the course of February, and factories delayed a return to work.

Last month, Apple said it would miss its second quarter revenue forecast and global iPhone supplies would fall because of the epidemic.

The firm had forecast revenue of $63-$67 billion for January-March, but did not disclose how much it expected revenue to fall.