Apple’s retail expansion into China continues to blossom, as the company is now targeting Hong Kong as the next location.
The electronics giant has said its plan right now is to open a total of 25 stores in the giant nation. In addition to Hong Kong, the next immediate one will be in Shanghai, where there is already another Apple Store.
Despite the country’s humongous population and extreme potential, many retailers fear the area because of political turmoil, differing laws and regulation, and a sweeping set of cultural differences. Additionally, China’s rampant piracy leads to a culture where legitimate electronics and content doesn’t always thrive.
Apple avoided the country for years, making the only way for the enormous population to get their hands on Apple products to order them online or resort to the black market.
Apple launched its first retail store in China in 2008, ahead of the summer Olympics. It was seen as a largely symbolic move, but things have only gotten better since then.
Of course, it hasn’t been all fun and games. Earlier this year, there was a whole rash of reports about fake Apple Stores that had popped up all over China.
So it continues to be a tough area for the company to handle, but it’s certainly making progress. In addition to opening up a new Hong Kong location, Apple’s next big move in the region will be launching the iPad 2 with mobile data service. Previously, the company was only able to release the WiFi version of the tablet, due to constraints with China’s mobile providers.