What you need to know
- Deirdre O'Brien has told Apple's China employees that a decision will be made regarding reopening its Apple stores next week.
- Apple previously closed all of its China operations until at least February 9.
- In the meantime, Apple's Corporate Offices and Contact Centers look set to reopen.
A message sent to Apple employees in China seems to suggest that a decision on whether to reopen Apple's China retail stores will be made next week.
According to MacGeneration, Deirdre O'Brien sent a letter to employees stating:
We are working toward reopening Apple's Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.
With regards to Retail stores she said:
Apple's Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.
Currently, store websites note that they will be closed until February 9, with plans to reopen on February 10.
With the date for reopening set to be "determined next week", this could well signal that Apple plans to keep its stores closed for longer than initially planned. O'Brien concluded by saying:
As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.
The news closely follows the revelation that Foxconn employees in Apple's Shenzhen iPhone factory have been told not to return to work on February 10 over concerns about coronavirus.
The situation remains highly fluid in the nation.