Apple Inc said on Saturday it will close all of its stores outside of China until March 27, as the US tech giant aims to reduce the risk of infections of the novel coronavirus.
Apple's online store as well as its "Apple Store" app will remain open.
The move came after all of its retail stores in the Chinese mainland re-opened as of Mar 13, with the epidemic being under control in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a post that the company had learnt lessons from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, which "has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response."
"One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus's transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance," Cook said."As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we're taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers."
Apart from additional store closures, Apple said it will also make more donations to help the global fight against the virus.
Cook said: "We are matching our employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally."
Apple's committed donations to the global COVID-19 response — both to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic — have already reached $15 million worldwide so far.