UPDATE: March 21, 2008
Rumor now confirmed – First Apple Store in China will be @ Sanlitun
Beijing’s The Village at Sanlitun has now been confirmed as the location for Apple’s first store in China. The Salitun district is known for its many hotels, restaurants and bars and it will be temporary home to many Beijing Olympics’ visitors.
Earlier reports noted that the first store would be at the historic Qianmen region.
A few blogs suggested that the move to Salitun was a last minute location change due to construction delays in Qianmen that would push the opening date past the Summer Olympics. Yet plans for the Salitun site had to be in the works for many months, and both stores could have been candidates to be Apple’s “first in China.” Regardless of which store was supposed to open first, it is logical that Apple would want to have a store up and running in time for the Beijing Olympics. The Games might also be an important media/PR venue for an official iPhone launch in China. August of 2008 will be here soon!
The first site in Sanlitun sounds quite impressive! It will be a flagship sized store @ 10,700 square feet over 3 levels. Kudos to Ron Johnson and Apple!
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This story has been picked up by several blogs … not sure of its authenticity … looking for second sources … no confirmation yet
Apple Chooses Sanlitun For First China Store … Hmmm?
March 12, 2008
Full article > HERE
News from both Chinese media and Apple4.us, a website for the fans of Apple products, says that due to the long period of time involved in the restoration of Beijing’s Qianmen Avenue, anxious Apple has decided to locate its first store in China in the Sanlitun bar and restaurant area so that the store can be opened during the Beijing Olympic Games. The website says that Apple’s first store in China will feature about 1000 square meters, but its second store, which will be opened soon after the first one, will be located in Qianmen area with a total area of 3000 square meters.
There are some Apple boutique stores in big cities in China, but these stores are all opened by Apple’s dealers and do not belong directly to Apple. Apple says that by establishing the direct-run store, it can bring consumers a better experience of its products.
China.org.cn has also picked up this “second” Apple store in (Sanlitun) Beijing story. Again, this is just a rumor as there has been no confirmation from Apple. See link HERE.