Apple to close its entire China operation 'out of an abundance of caution' amidst coronavirus outbreak

Qingdao (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is to close all of its mainland China operations over concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It is closing all of its Apple stores, as well as corporate offices and contact centers.
  • They will remain closed through February 9, but Apple hopes to re-open them as soon as possible.

Apple has confirmed it is shutting down its entire operation in mainland China until at least February 9.

As reported by Reuters:

"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," Apple said in a statement. The company said looked forward to re-opening stores "as soon as possible".

Just days ago, Apple closed two more of its stores in the country, after announcing the closure of its Qingdao store during its earnings call on Tuesday, January 28.

Whilst some corporations, such as Apple supplier TSMC, have said that their work remains unnaffected by the outbreak, reports claimed that the virus has created massive uncertainties in the region with regards to supply chains and manufacturing.

That disruption could even spread as far as India, Apple's second-largest manufacturing base, which remains heavily reliant on China for parts and components. During Tuesday's call Cook said:

I'll talk about the supply chain and customer demand some to give you some color. With respect to the supply chain, we do have some suppliers in the Wuhan area. For all of the suppliers, there are alternate sources and we're obviously working on mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss. We factored our best thinking in the guidance that we've provided you. With respect to supply sources that are outside the Wuhan area. The impact is less clear at this time.

With this latest news regarding closures of all of Apple's operations in the country, it seems now that some impact on Apple's supply chain and maybe the supply of devices is inevitable.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9