The company is shutting down all its business workplaces, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9th, according to a declaration supplied to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The company is closing all its retail stores and corporate offices in mainland China through February 9th out of an "abundance of caution" and in consultation from experts. 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 China-based Caixin media group reports that economists estimate more than $144 billion in losses to the restaurant, tourism and movie industries alone in seven days of the Lunar New Year holiday.
The announcement on Saturday further highlighted that Apple relies heavily on operations in China since the majority of its suppliers have production houses in China.
Apple, on the other hand, has restricted every employee travelling to china and has also provided new guidelines for cleanliness in stores and for employee health.
China is the company's third largest sales market after the United States and Europe. The only question is for how long the factories will be up and running as the virus is taking more and more lives. Microsoft and Facebook have told their employees in the country to work from home.
But like every company in China, it has been affected by the virus that has killed 259 people and infected almost 12,000.
The mobile phone giant stated that though their brick and mortar stores are closed in China for the time being, their online store is fully functional and patrons can purchase their products.