As the deadly coronavirus that originated in China was spreading panic worldwide, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company has closed one of its retail units in China and restricted employee’s business travel to the country.
“The situation is developing and we’re still gathering lots of data points and monitoring it very closely. As Apple CFO Luca Maestri mentioned, we have a wider than usual revenue range for the second quarter due to the greater uncertainty,” Tim Cook said to analysts on Tuesday.
“Concerning sales and current demand, currently we closed one of our retail stores, and many channel partners have also closed their storefronts. Some of the stores that remain open have also reduced working hours,” he informed.
“We’re taking additional precautions and frequently deep-cleaning our stores as well as conducting temperature checks for employees. While our company sales in the Wuhan area are small, retail traffic also impacted outside of this area, across the country in the last few days,” the Apple CEO continues.
The company registered double-digit growth for Apple iPhones, services and wearables in China in its first quarter ended in December 2019. The company has some supplies in the Wuhan area, according to Cook.
“All of these supplies, they’re our final sources, and we work on justification plans to make up any expected production loss. We’ve factored best thinking and the guidance that we’ve provided you,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
“The reviving of those factories after Chinese New Year has been moved to February 10th, and we are tried to account for this delayed start-up throughout the larger range of products,” Cook noted.
Foxconn, the Apple supplier, has informed its workers who went to Taiwan for the Chinese New Year not to return to their Chinese Wuhan store.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, about 5 million Chinese jobs depend on the presence of Apple in the country, including more than 1.8 million developers of software and iOS apps. The company itself employs 10,000 people in China, and most of Apple’s products are being assembled in China.