Apple To Temporarily Shutter All China Stores 

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The spread of the coronavirus has prompted Apple to shutter its corporate offices and 42 retail stores in mainland China through Feb. 9, Bloomberg reported on Saturday (Feb. 1).

Apple said the decision was made with an “abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts.” Apple’s online store will remain operational.

In addition, the Silicon Valley-based tech giant is limiting business trips to China to critical situations only. Apple also said extra cleaning measures are being enacted and retail workers are getting their temperatures taken.

On its quarterly earnings call, Apple said it wasn’t sure how the coronavirus might impact its operations, and referred to the coronavirus as a “recently unfolding public health situation.” Apple said it was projecting a wider range of revenue for the next quarter — $63-$67 billion — due to the possibility of less money coming in from mainland China.

The Lunar New Year holiday was extended by the Chinese government. Residents are being asked to stay home as one measure of limiting the spread of the virus. 

“Our thoughts are with the people most immediately affected by the coronavirus and with those working around the clock to study and contain it,” a statement from Apple said.

Other businesses suspending or limiting operations in China include Australia’s Qantas Airways, the Philippines’ budget carrier Cebu Air, Honda, Nissan and Starbucks.

As of Saturday (Feb. 1), there were 2,102 new cases of coronavirus reported in China, with the worldwide total hitting 11,953, according to the World Health Organization’s Situation Report. Aside from China, there have been 132 cases confirmed in 23 other countries. The death toll is 259.

The coronavirus is forcing global businesses of all categories to scale back, close locations or even shut down for a while. Ford, JPMorgan and Kraft Heinz have all instituted travel bans to China. Google is shutting down its offices on the mainland, as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong.