Apple closes all stores outside of Taiwan and China amid coronavirus fears

Company moves software developers event online

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/03/14
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The opening of Apple’s second Taipei store, in June 2019 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Apple Inc. announced Saturday (March 14) it was closing hundreds of retail stores outside of Taiwan and China until March 27 amid the expansion of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The best way to limit infections was to “reduce density” and “maximize social distance,” the Bloomberg news service quoted a letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook. The tech company counts 460 stores outside of Taiwan and China, including 270 in the United States, where the epidemic has only recently started to expand.

Corporate employees have been asked to work remotely, while hourly employees at the closed shops will continue to receive their original pay.

Since a majority of Apple’s products are built by a supply chain including China, and including Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, the company has been affected by factory closures, leading to delivery problems for iPhones and iPad models, Bloomberg reported.

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