Apple has delayed its annual employee “Close your rings” challenge citing the coronavirus outbreak and consequent closures of stores in China as the reason.
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The company-wide fitness challenge traditionally falls in February each year, but 2020 will be different. Those employees that attempted to start the challenge in the app, noticed that their challenge code doesn’t work. This is because everything has been postponed.
The Cupertino outfit has sent out this internal email a couple of days ago.
“The Close Your Rings Challenge is one of those rare opportunities to bring team members and colleagues from around the world together with a common purpose to close our rings, earn some points, and have fun. With a number of our offices and stores closed in China right now and some of our team members unable to participate, we’ve decided to postpone the 2020 Close Your Rings Challenge. At this time, our Challenge will be removed from the Challenges app.” it reads.
“We’ll update everyone as soon as we have a new date when we can all focus together in closing our rings!”
The task typically requires Apple corporate and retail offices employees to close their Watch rings every day during the month of February, no easy task. Those that are successful were supposed to get a t-shirt that says “2020” in an Apple Watch Activity Ring-style font.
The company has obviously been affected by the coronavirus outbreak as much of its supply chain is located in China. Many factories have closed in the country and Apple itself has, quite rightly, shut down stores, offices and contact centers there.
“Our thoughts are with the people most immediately affected by the coronavirus and with those working around the clock to study and contain it,” the company said in a statement.
“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China through February 9.”
The challenge may be reinstated when the stores re-open. This may or may not happen in three days time, as the continued spread of the virus may challenge Apple’s plans. The latest statistics show there are more than 28,000 with the illness, with the number rising by a few thousand each day. The death toll has risen to 565 with all but 1 of these in China.
A challenge that definitely is going ahead is the one for Valentines Day. This one is available to everyone. To successfully complete the task, users will need to close their watch’s green exercise ring for seven days in a row between February 8th and 14th.
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