updated 11:35 pm EST, Thu January 27, 2011
Cybermart plans stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan too
Hon Hai, the parent company of Apple supplier Foxxconn and owner of major electronics retail chain Cybermart International has obtained certification as an Apple Reseller and plans to open up to 500 stores for Apple and other products in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, reports DigiTimes. The first of the new stores will debut in Tianjin in April. The Cybermart stores are known for their huge selection of recent electronics and, more significantly for Apple, on-site repair facilities. Apple's relatively small retail presence in China, though incredibly popular, has been a source of complaints with Chinese consumers who own Apple products and find it difficult to get after-sale support.
Although Apple itself has announced that it will open 20 more stores in mainland China across 2011 following the dramatic increase in popularity there, Cybermart's certification may allow for much faster growth and diversification over what Apple itself could do. The Cybermart division aims to become the country's main retailer of consumer electronics, many of which are built by Foxconn for Apple and other electronics makers.
Tianjin is a large city in northern China, the sixth largest in the country with a population of more than 12 million. Average income in the region translates to around $9,500 per year, quite high for the country, with a third of that translating into disposable income. [via DigiTimes]