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Apple will reopen Beijing stores as coronavirus outbreak continues

But they'll be open fewer hours than usual. Other stores in China will remain closed.

Apple Store Beijing
Some Apple Stores will reopen this week. 

Apple appears ready to reopen a handful of retail stores in China after they were closed earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has surpassed 60,000 cases worldwide, the vast majority of them in that country. 

Apple Stores in Beijing will open Friday, according to the stores' pages on Apple's site. The locations' hours will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time instead of the usual 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The company's other stores in China will remain closed. The store openings were earlier reported by Reuters.

The iPhone maker began temporarily shuttering stores in China in January as concerns about the coronavirus spread around the globe. It also closed its corporate offices and contact centers in the country. Apple originally planned to reopen stores at the end of the extended Lunar New Year holiday break on Feb. 10, but last week said they would remain closed "until further notice." 

The coronavirus was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. To date, there have been more than 1,300 deaths attributed to the resulting illness, now known as COVID-19.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published Feb. 13 at 8:20 a.m. PT.
Update, 8:29 a.m. PT: Adds background details.

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