Apple opens its largest store in Asia in Shanghai

Apple opens its largest store in Asia in Shanghai

This is Apple's third store in Shanghai. About 300 employees greeted customers while wearing specially designed T-shirts at the store, located at the end of the pedestrian street, one of the most bustling areas of the city.

"I started to queue for the opening around 10 pm on Thursday and I want to see what's new in the shop at the earliest time," said Cui Lizhen, who was the first to enter the brand new store.

Cui, who runs a start-up firm, said he arrived from Jilin Province, in China's northeast, on Wednesday. He bought four accessories for his iPod and Mac for around 1,500 yuan (USD 234), the Shanghai Daily reported.

Apple is also set to open its first retail store in Hong Kong today. Apple, the maker of iPhones and iPads, had said it hopes to open 25 stores in the mainland and Hong Kong by February, 2012.

The four-storey Apple Store on Nanjing Road East will occupy two floors for display and training and another two for check-out and offices. In China, shipments of the iPhone, Apple's best-selling product, jumped to two million in the second quarter, compared with 300,000 a year ago, according to technology research agency Gartner.

"We will launch new stores on China's mainland as soon as the potential sites meet our requirements," a senior official from Apple's retail department said last week.