Tech giant Apple Inc. shut its stores early citywide on Monday, as fears of escalating violence and spiraling lawlessness linked to weekslong protests spurred concern among businesses and the public.
A day after police fired tear gas in clashes with thousands of protesters, Hong Kong remains on edge as officials conceded no ground and activists accused the government of coddling a rise in vigilante justice. In the north of the city, a mob of white-shirted men stormed a subway station late Sunday and beat people whom they blamed for taking part in the earlier antigovernment protests, leaving 45 people injured.
Apple opened its first store in Hong Kong in 2011 and is a high-profile anchor for the city’s image as an international commercial hub, gracing the Victoria Harbour waterfront in a giant mall where most tourists transit. A spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif.-company directed queries to information on store hours on its website.
Five of the semiautonomous region’s six Apple stores shut at 4 p.m., five to six hours ahead of normal closing hours. The remaining store was shut all day. Apple’s website referred to Monday’s arrangement as “special store hours.”
MacDailyNews Take: Prudent.