Apple revealed plans to open 25 Apple Stores in China during its annual shareholder meeting Thursday. The company didn't offer a timetable or specific locations for its stores, but it did specify that it would open 25 stores within the country, according to messages that were iPhoned out to Fortune reporter Philip Elmer-Dewitt.
China is the world's biggest market, with more than a billion people, but it's a market where Apple has historically had little presence. The company just recently introduced the iPhone, where it has gotten off to a slower start than in other, much smaller markets.
The company may be looking at the Chinese market in the same way it addressed its lack of retail presence in the rest of the world, especially the U.S., by using retail stores to both show off its products in the most favorable light and educate consumers at the same time.