Apple is opening its second megastore in the region of Sanlitun China, a place that has gained huge popularity among Apple enthusiasts in the Chinese mainland over the years. The store will open its door at 10 a.m. CST, and will sit adjacent to the previous store in the region, which will be disbanded henceforth. However, the new store is twice in size, so there are plenty more Apples in the basket.
The new store is a huge modern complex that includes a Forum, Viewing Gallery, and Boardroom. “The Forum will be the future home for Today at Apple, where the store will host some of Beijing’s greatest artists, musicians, and creatives who will showcase and teach their process. The Viewing Gallery, situated within the grand upper level, offers a stunning vantage point for the lively outdoor square. Local businesses and entrepreneurs can get personal advice and guidance from the Apple team in the store’s dedicated Boardroom. With more than double the space of the previous store dedicated to service and support, customers will have ample room to meet with a Genius or experience Today at Apple,” explained apple in the blog post announcing its opening.
Apple also said that it will maintain a standard level of safety and hygiene to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Measures like social distancing, regular sanitization, masks, and temperature checks will be undertaken with strict precaution.
Like all apple stores, this one will also run on renewable energy, and will have its own integrated solar array which will provide energy to over 450,000 houses in china every year.
This new grand store is opening up at a time when the Trump administration is becoming increasingly apprehensive of communist-led China. Today Attorney General William P. Barr heavily accused Apple and other American companies of promoting pro-China policies in the U.S., whereas he criticized Apple for transferring dome of its iCloud data to the Chinese government. He suspects that this will give the communist regime in china easy access to users emails, texts, and other data, putting the privacy of Americans under risk.
To fend off this criticism from William Barr, Apple explained by saying that “China recently enacted laws requiring that cloud services offered to their citizens be operated by Chinese companies and that Chinese customers’ data be stored in the country. While we advocated against iCloud being subject to these laws, we were ultimately unsuccessful. Our choice was to offer iCloud under the new laws or discontinue offering the service.”
William had also criticized Apple for removing the news app Quartz, on CCP’s request, which covered the Hong Kong democracy protests. To this apple replied by saying that, “Each country in which we do business has its own customs, culture, and legal process. While our values and beliefs don’t change from country to country, we are subject to each country’s laws.”
In a nutshell, this store is opening at an acrimonious time between the two technological superpowers. President Trump has even signed legislation to potentially sanction Chinese officials for their role in detaining Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in camps and to ‘punish’ China for the crackdown in Hong Kong. The Trump administration is trying to promo its citizens to “reevaluate their relationship with China, so long as it continues to be ruled by the Communist Party.”
This store “will open a new era for Apple in Beijing.”