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Apple to Reopen All China Retail Stores

Apple is reopening all of its retail stores in China as restrictions limiting movement and activity in the wake of the coronavirus slowly continue to ease.

Apple  (AAPL)  said it reopened all of its 42 retail stores in China as restrictions limiting movement and activity of both people and businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic slowly continue to abate.

The stores, which had been shuttered since early February amid the coronavirus outbreak, are fully open and operational, a company spokesperson confirmed to both Bloomberg and Reuters on Friday.

The re-openings come as Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world take unprecedented moves to shut down businesses and public centers amid the coronavirus pandemic, which as of Friday had infected 128,343, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, with deaths increasing to 4,720.

The U.S. has 1,663 cases of the virus and deaths have climbed to 41.

Indeed, while the situation in China may be improving, Apple will inevitably be hit elsewhere as the virus continues to spread around the world. This week the company closed all 17 of its stores in Italy after the government put the country in lockdown.

Calling the coronavirus outbreak an “unprecedented event,” Apple CEO Tim Cook this week encouraged employees at several of its global offices to “please feel free to work remotely if your job allows” from March 9 to March 13.

Analysts and investors were already predicting a slowdown in Apple’s earnings resulting from store closings, as well as from the impact on the company's China-dependent supply chain, which is still not operating at full capacity.

Shares of Apple were up almost 5% at $260.60 in trading in New York on Friday. The stock ended the day Thursday down 9.88% at $248.23.