Smartphone manufacturer Apple is closing all offices and stores in China over the coronavirus crisis. The company will be shutting down all its corporate stores, offices and contact centers in mainland China through February 9, 2020. Though the virus outbreak is catered in Wuhan, the US-based company has decided that it is better to close all stores in the country until the situation gets better.
The Cupertino-based company will continue to run its online store in China. Apple reported the decision to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who revealed the information via a tweet. It is still unclear if the brand will be shutting down its Chinese factories run by Foxconn. Foxconn still is running on the holiday schedule.
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The coronavirus has so far claimed over 200 lives in China. The virus has infected over 10,000 people across the globe. It was declared that the outbreak has turned into a global public health emergency. The outbreak even triggered the first mandatory CDC quarantine in the US in 50 years. Further, foreign nationals returning from China have been banned. Moreover, the US has even made various airlines to suspend all flights to China until the situation is neutralised.
Compared to the steps the country has taken, Apple shutting down its Chinese stores is a small yet necessary decision. According to Kyoto Shimbun, even Nintendo which produces its consoles in China said that the outbreak is impacting the production of the Nintendo Switch game console.
Apple even went ahead and provided care kits to employees in Apple stores in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. There were even procedures to regularly check the temperature of the employees and deep clean its stores and offices.
The coronavirus outbreak even made Google join hands with the WHO to declare the outbreak as an SOS. Google enabled the display of quick safety tips and Q&A on its search engines so that people who search for coronavirus can be quickly linked to these helpful tips, links and pages. Meanwhile, technology billionaire Jack Ma of the Alibaba group has donated $14 million for the coronavirus vaccine development.