Apple has temporarily shut down all its stores in mainland China through Feb. 9, the company said on Saturday. It added that it will continue to monitor the situation, and re-open its stores “as soon as possible.”
“Our thoughts are with the people most immediately affected by the Coronavirus and with those working around the clock to study and contain it,” according to a statement released Saturday. “Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China through February 9.”
In choosing the phrase “abundance of caution,” Apple's statement implies that there was a choice, that these aren't historically extreme measures, and that people in China were out shopping for phones just like any other day. Of course, none of this is true. Major cities including Shanghai are already in some level of lockdown and their streets are almost entirely deserted.
Watch the video below for an idea of how serious the situation is in China. The entire country has ground to a halt, and at least for now, there's no relief in sight.
Streets are empty and markets are closed in Chinese cities that are home to millions of people. This is what life is like in China during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. https://t.co/O9NsES6WRG pic.twitter.com/eZhq97hSRG— CNN International (@cnni) February 1, 2020
Virus Update:— Bloomberg (@business) February 1, 2020
- 259 people have died in China from the coronavirus
- Almost 12,000 have been infected globally
- Apple said it will close all stores and offices on the mainland
- Travel restrictions continue to expandhttps://t.co/HM68xFxfot
For first time in 50 years, CDC orders a federal quarantine for American evacuees who were flown to California from Wuhan, China, amid the coronavirus outbreak. https://t.co/TuYGpuFfJj— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 1, 2020