Apple CEO Tim Cook
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Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak in China is impacting Apple’s operations in the country.
The company has restricted employee travel and shut one store in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, Cook said, adding that the company is cutting back on retail store hours in China.
“We’re restricting travel to business critical travel,” Cook told CNBC’s Josh Lipton Tuesday. “For employees that are in the Wuhan area, we are providing care kits and supplying them across our employee population in China as well.”
In it’s first-quarter earnings report, Apple set an unusually large guidance range for the next quarter of $63 to $67 billion. Cook said the decision to set guidance with a range of $4 billion was reflective of the coronavirus outbreak and “the uncertainty around that.”
Apple has “some suppliers” in the Wuhan area, Cook told investors on Apple’s quarterly conference call Tuesday, and added that at least some of its manufacturing facilities elsewhere in China will remain closed until Feb. 10, as recommended by the Chinese government.
Cook also said that a number of channel partners have closed their retail stores, which could affect sales.
“Retail traffic has also been impacted outside of the city over the last few days,” Cook said.
Apple manufactures most of its iPhones in China. While its two primary manufacturing sites are far from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, Bloomberg reported this week that the emerging public health threat could disrupt the company’s operations.
“We’re donating to groups that are working to contain the outbreak,” Cook said on the earnings call. “We’re working closely with our Apple team members in the affected areas, and our thoughts are with all of those in the region.”
Chinese health authorities said Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak has killed 106 people and infected 4,515.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Americans Tuesday to avoid all nonessential travel to China, expanding its travel warning from the city of Wuhan to the entire country.