Apple CEO Tim Cook says China is getting coronavirus 'under control'

The company has said the new virus has affected demand from Chinese customers and production capabilities in the country.

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Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Tim Cook has confidence in China's ability to tackle the new coronavirus, according to a report. 

James Martin/CNET

Amid fears of the spread of a novel  coronavirus , Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Thursday interview with Fox Business that he's confident China will be able to curb its impact. 

"It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control," Cook said during the interview. "You look at the numbers, they're coming down day by day by day. I'm very optimistic there."

The new strain of coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, causes a pneumonia-like disease and was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December. It has now infected more than 82,000 people and caused more than 2,800 deaths around the world.

Watch this: Coronavirus and COVID-19: Everything you need to know

Apple said earlier this month that the virus has hurt demand from Chinese customers, as well as production capabilities in the country. The company assembles its phones in China and has suppliers in the Wuhan area.

"It will take some time, but by and large I think this is a temporary condition, not a long-term kind of thing," Cook told Fox Business Network's Susan Li

Apple began temporarily closing its China stores in January when the virus started spreading to places like the US, Australia and Europe. It later reopened some stores with limited hours. The tech giant also temporarily closed its corporate offices and contact centers in China.

In the interview, Cook said Apple has reopened factories in China. "This is sort of the third phase of getting back to normal," he said.

He also discussed Apple's plans to open a store in India next year, which he announced at the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this week. Cook said he sees India as a "huge opportunity" for Apple. An online store will launch in the country later this year. 

Originally published Feb. 27.
Update, Feb. 28: Adds Cook's comment on Apple's current situation being a "temporary condition," and information on Apple's India store.