The first Apple Store to open in China is reported to be joining 300 shops on Beijing's Qianmen Street, which is undergoing a $40 million renovation to restore it to Ming-era architecture. The store is scheduled to open before the August 8th opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. The renovated street will become the city's second pedestrian-only shopping street and it's reported that Apple will be forgoing its well-established storefront in favor of a design that will blend with the Chinese architecture surrounding it.
China joined the World Trade Organization in 2005, and recently passed laws allowing non-Chinese companies to fully own businesses within China. Dell and Best Buy have already entered the market, which undoubtedly factored into Apple's decision to include Beijing in the 40 stores scheduled to open this year.