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Home / World / Apple closes Hong Kong stores prematurely as fear of lawlessness rises

Apple closes Hong Kong stores prematurely as fear of lawlessness rises



HONG KONG – Technology giant

Apple
Inc.

Business was closed early in the city on Monday, as fears of escalating violence and increasing lawlessness in connection with weeks of protests sparked corporate and public concerns as officials conceded no reason and activists accused the government of coddling an increase in vigilante justice , In the north of the city, a group of white-shirted men stormed a subway station late on Sunday and beat people responsible for participating in previous protests against the government. 45 people were injured.

Carrie Lam, executive director of Hong Kong, condemned the violence on Monday when she was questioned by reporters about a public-sector breakdown in the city after weeks of protests against the government. However, the fear of new clashes in the northern districts spread throughout the social media.

Some companies closed their businesses prematurely as the effects of social turbulence on the city's economy aroused concern.

Apple joined a number of other companies in the city who decided on Monday to close staff or send them home. Five of the six Apple stores in the semi-autonomous region closed at 1

6:00, five to six hours before normal business hours. The rest of the business was closed all day. Apple's website called the arrangement "special opening hours" on Monday.

Hong Kong police fired a bombardment of tear gas canisters on thousands of protesters late on Sunday as the protests spread to a seventh weekend. Photo: Getty Images

In a branch of

Abercrombie & Fitch
Co.

"S Hollister – next to an Apple Store in the shopping district of Causeway Bay – said a Hollister employee that some employees should leave prematurely to return to Yuen Long, a suburb near the border with the Chinese mainland, where the attack on the Subway station happened on Sunday night happened.

Estee Lauder
Co.

at 14:40 Monday sent a message to Hong Kong staff calling on those living in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun, another suburb, "to leave the office as soon as possible," according to an internal statement Email the Wall Street Journal. Estée Lauder did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong," says the email, which instructs employees to avoid certain shopping malls in these suburbs.

Shops in Yuen Long's malls are also closed early on Monday. The police did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

This is not the first time that big deals have closed prematurely in the protests that shook Hong Kong in the past two months. Dozens of retailers in and around the city center, including the huge IFC mall that greets most tourists upon their arrival on Hong Kong Island, sent their employees home prematurely or closed them in mid-June when demonstrators blocked the streets and collided with the police ,

Write to Chuin-Wei Yap at chuin-wei.yap@wsj.com

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