updated 09:10 am EDT, Fri July 18, 2008
Apple opens Beijing store
Apple has opened its first retail store in China, according to reports. While the store will only technically open on July 19th, Apple has taken the unusual step of providing a sneak preview a day in advance, instead of an hour in advance as at most of its retail openings. The store is located on Sanlitun street in Beijing, and is surrounded by a number of other Western retailers, most notably Adidas.
Also unusual is that despite being in China, the store's Genius Bar will serve people in a number of languages beyond Mandarin, including English and German. Likely to be helpful for sales during August's Summer Olympics, Sanlitun is also generally well-known as a destination for expatriates, who may be more likely to buy Apple products.
Apple has confirmed that the next Chinese store will open on Qianmen, just south of Beijing's Tiananmen Square, and that locations in Shanghai and elsewhere are planned. The iPhone 3G is expected to ship in China as well, though Apple cannot provide a date or status on negotiations with cellphone carriers.