It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Apple has a lot of official stores in China. Over the weekend the company announced that it will be closing all of them until February 9 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, Apple said that the decision came after “an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts“. The company already closed three earlier last week.
Of course, Apple is not the first to make such an announcement. Others like McDonald’s and Starbucks have already done the same. Others have asked their employees to work from home, and cease non-essential business travel for the first week of February.
And it’s not stores that are closed either. Many factories have been temporarily closed as well in the Hubei province. Reuters also reports that Wuhan, the city where the novel coronavirus emerged, is home to several Apple suppliers. CEO Tim Cook said that the company is working to deal with possible production loss from said suppliers.
For now, it’s uncertain if this will affect the upcoming iPhones. Especially the much rumoured Apple iPhone SE2 that will begin production this month, for a possible March reveal. For what it’s worth, three Taiwanese companies are responsible for assembling the phone.
The number of reported deaths pinned to the novel coronavirus has gone over 250. The World Health Organisation has declared it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Sabah has also banned all flights coming from China to prevent the spread of the outbreak.