Apple (AAPL) China's official website shows that Apple will soon set up its first direct-operated store in China in Beijing's Sanlitun area, but the website does not disclose when exactly the store will be opened.

The new store will be directly managed by Apple's headquarters in North America. It will not only display the whole range of Apple's products for consumers to experience, but also sell them. In past years, Apple relied on agents within China to resell their products.

Previously, it was reported that Apple's first direct-operated store in China would be opened on July 19 at Sanlitun Village, a property developed by Hong Kong Swire Properties, consisting of three floors with a total area of 995 square meters.

It is also said that Apple's second store in China, with an estimated area of 3000 square meters, will be opened at Beijing's Qianmen Avenue right after the Beijing Olympic Games.

As of April 2008, Apple had 209 direct-operated stores throughout the world.

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