Apple Inc on Saturday said it has decided to shut down all of its official stores in mainland China until Feb 9., as fears over the coronavirus outbreak mounted and the death toll more than doubled to over 250 from a week ago.
"Our thoughts are with the people most immediately affected by the coronavirus and with those working around the clock to study and contain it," Apple said in a statement.
It added the closure was decided "out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts".
Apple's online store remains open and the company said it would closely monitor the situation.
China is home to the firm's third-biggest consumer market and much of its supply chain.
But like every company in China, it has been affected by the virus that has killed 259 people and infected nearly 12,000.
Some of Apple's suppliers are based in the area near Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.
Apple chief Tim Cook said on Tuesday that the company was working on "mitigation plans" to make up for production loss with alternate sources.
The company had already closed one of its Wuhan stores while some retail partners have shuttered their shops or cut hours of business.
Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, which makes iPhone products, is keeping its Chinese factories closed until mid-February and is allowing local employees to delay their return after the new year break.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.