Tesla has shut down its stores in mainland China amid worries about the worsening coronavirus outbreak, a new report says.
The electric-car maker’s stores were temporarily closed as of Sunday, CNBC reported Thursday, citing a post from a Tesla sales employee on the WeChat social media app.
“From today on, Tesla stores are all closed throughout China. But I will answer questions online, around the clock,” the employee wrote Sunday, according to CNBC. “Online orders are still welcome. We suggest all of you stay home, and take good care of your health.”
Tesla has two dozen stores in mainland China, according to its website. It’s reportedly unclear whether the company has closed stores in Hong Kong, where it has three locations.
Tesla’s press offices in the US and China did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
The reported store closings marked another sign of the outbreak’s effect on Tesla as Elon Musk’s automaker works to build up its business in China.
The virus which has killed 563 people and infected more than 28,000 forced Tesla to shut down its new factory in Shanghai. The company’s stock price sank as much as 20 percent Wednesday after a company official said deliveries in China slated for early February would be delayed.
“We will catch up the production line once the outbreak situation gets better,” Tesla vice president Tao Lin said on the social media platform Weibo, according to a CNBC translation.
Tesla shares were down 2.4 percent at $717.01 in premarket trading as of 7:24 a.m. Thursday. The stock closed down 17.1 percent at $734.70 on Wednesday, a price that still marks a 73 percent increase from the start of the year.