This article originally appeared on ABACUS Apple only shipped about 500,000 iPhones in China last month, down by more than half from the 1.27 million shipped in February last year, according to a monthly report published by state-run research institute China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). The precipitous drop shows how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting electronics brands in China. Smartphone shipments have been affected in general, falling 56% in February to 6.38 million units, according to CAICT. Consumer spending slowed for the month because people in China spent most of it with their family. Apple temporarily closed all of its retail stores in China for at least two weeks in February. The company has since been gradually reopening them . Now only three Apple Stores in Tianjin and one in Suzhou remain closed. But Covid-19 continues to add stress to the smartphone industry, disrupting supply chains and recessing shipments more than they already were. Smartphone shipments in February last year were the lowest in six years. Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.