Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has unveiled another megastore in China in Sanlitun, Beijing’s upscale shopping district. The megastore is double the size of the company’s first store in China.
Apple reopens megastore in China amid criticism
The company reopened the landmark megastore as it continues to face increasing scrutiny over its relationship with China. Attorney General William Barr has criticized several US tech companies for playing by Beijing’s rules. Barr single out the iPhone maker for yielding to Chinese communists. Apple depends greatly on China as a manufacturing partner and revenue generation from iPhone sales and App Store. In recent quarters, Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei have been eating Apple’s market share in China, leaving the US company in fifth place with only 10% of total shipments.
Barr criticized Apple for tugging apps on behalf of Beijing with motives of banning them, ranging from muting politically sensitive services to shutting regulatory loopholes. This has led to the removal of several unlicensed games in the country. The new Apple megastore features an integrated solar array in the store, allowing the provision of power like in most Apple facilities globally running on renewable energy. Apple claims that it is supporting enough renewable energy in the country to power 450,000 homes per year.
Apple introduces Apple News audio stories
Recently the company launched its daily podcast announced alongside news about the introduction of audio stories to Apple News and release of iOS 13.6. The podcast will be called Apple News Today, with its hosts being Apple News editors Duarte Geraldino and Shumuta Basu. They will be releasing new episodes from Monday through Friday, between seven and eight minutes. The service will be available exclusively through Apple Podcast and Apple News in the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.
Similarly, Apple will be releasing 20 audio stories per week via Apple News Plus. Professional actors will voice the stories narrated in long-form pieces published by the likes of New York magazine, Esquire, and Vanity Fair.