Apple is getting ready to launch its first retail store in Taiwan. According to its Taiwan website, the Apple Store will be in Taipei 101, the landmark skyscraper, and decorated with papercut art by Yang Shiyi, whose work is already featured on a sign marking the shop’s future location.
Up till now, Taiwanese Apple users have relied on its site or authorized resellers like Youth,Video Production Service Studio A, and iStore to buy products. The Apple Store’s arrival in Taiwan is interesting because of the country’s fraught relationship with China, Apple’s largest market outside of the U.S., which considers Taiwan a rogue state instead of a sovereign nation.
The absence of an official Apple Store was especially ironic because many of Apple’s key suppliers, including Foxconn, are headquartered in Taiwan despite operating factories in China.
The delay, however, may simply be because there are already plenty of retail locations operated by resellers that capture the look and feel of Apple Stores. Apple also recently launched its first store in Singapore and is preparing to open one in South Korea.
An opening date hasn’t been announced yet, but local newspaper Apple Daily (which is unrelated to Apple) speculates that it will be by the end of this month.