A massive new Apple Store opened its doors for business Saturday in Hangzhou, China. Big crowds reportedly gathered outside the West Lake Apple Store for the opening. Apple CEO Tim Cook — who doesn’t use social media that often — tweeted about “Starting Something New” in China to recognize the store’s unveiling.
Apple teased the opening of the store this week with a video showing artist Wang Dongling creating a mural for the unveiling of the Hangzhou store. The mural depicts a poem — titled “Praising West Lake in the Rain” — that blanketed the store as a promotional stunt.
The Hangzhou store is one of five Apple Stores opening in China before the Chinese New Year at the end of February, according to 9to5Mac. Earlier this month, a store opened in Zhengzhou, with three more opening in the coming weeks. Zhengzhou and Hangzhou have populations in the millions.
The new stores are part of Tim Cook’s push to expand Apple’s presence in China, one of the largest markets for Apple products in the world. Cook said in 2014 that he wanted to open 25 Apple Stores in China over the next two years,
“We’re investing like crazy in the market,” Cook said, according to Reuters. “When I look at China, I see an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history.”
Still, it’s not all good feelings between the Cupertino-based company and China. Despite Apple’s push to expand its footprint in the Chinese market, the government has repeatedly expressed distrust for the company.
On Friday, reports circulated that Cook was conceding to the Chine government’s demands to perform full security inspections of Apple products before they can be sold. (This remains unconfirmed.)
In 2014, a state-run Chinese television program accused Apple of tracking its citizens’ locations through iPhones’ “frequent locations” feature. Apple, of course, was quick to deny such claims.
Click here for the full article and more pictures from the store’s opening.
By: Rex Santus, Mashable