Apple extends its store closures in China due to the coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the Economic Summit held for the China Development Forum in Beijing on March 23, 2019.

Laurent Fievet | AFP | Getty Images

Apple said it is extending its store closures in China due to the coronavirus outbreak in the region.

“After thorough consultation with public health experts and government authorities, we are working toward re-opening our corporate offices and contact centers the week of February 10, and we are making preparations to reopen our retail stores,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to update our customers as opening dates are finalized. Our online store remains open. As we gradually return to work, our first priority is the well-being of our teams, supplier partners and customers across China. Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the Coronavirus and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.”

Earlier this month, Apple said it planned to shut down all stores in mainland China through Feb. 9 “[o]ut of an abundance of caution.”

China is an important market and manufacturing region for Apple. It’s a key growth driver for the company, which shipped 3.2 million iPhones there through December, according to data published by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank. Top analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cut iPhone shipment forecasts by 10% for the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus.

— CNBC’s Laura Batchelor contributed to this report.

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