Apple steps up China expansion with another new store

Updated: 2015-01-23 07:16


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Apple steps up China expansion with another new store

Photo taken on Jan 22, 2015 shows a new Apple Store located by the West Lake in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province. Hangzhou's first Apple Store will go into business on Jan. 24, which is also the 14th directly-operated Apple Store in China. [Photo/Xinhua]

HANGZHOU - Apple will open its 14th Chinese mainland store in Hangzhou, in East China's Zhejiang province, this Saturday.

The store is in the the coastal province's downtown area by the West Lake.

Apple VP retail real estate/development Bob Bridger told Xinhua that the new store was designed by the same architecture firm in charge of the company's new headquarters in California.

The new story has nearly 200 staffers including shop assistants, technical experts and business consultants, coming from 22 provinces and cities in the Chinese mainland, and speaking eight languages and 14 Chinese dialects.

According to Bridger, Apple is experiencing its most rapid growth since it opened its first store in China in 2008. Just 10 days ago, Apple opened its 13th store in Central China's Zhengzhou city. Another store will open in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality next week.

Two more new stores are expected to open before Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb 19 this year, but the company has not yet disclosed their locations.

Earlier this month, a report from investment banking firm UBS showed that strong demand for Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus smartphones had helped the Chinese market outsell the United States for the first time.

iPhone demand saw outsized growth in China, with as much as 35 percent of shipments in the last quarter of 2014 headed for the country, higher than the 24 percent ratio of the US market.

One Shanghai-based Apple store sees over 25,000 customers a day, more than any other store in the world.

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