Apple previews Beijing’s massive new store, the largest in Asia

Apple is set to launch a grandiose new store in Beijing this coming Saturday, as we told you earlier. Both Western and local press had a chance to attend a media preview today and boy does the upcoming retail outlet impress. It files as the company’s sixth brick-and-mortar store in China and Apple’s SVP of Retail John Browett was on hand, taking advantage of the opportunity to confirm that the iPhone maker is also working to open another store in Shenzhen, China, where its contract manufacturer operates plants where Apple products are being assembled…

Josh Ong of The Next Web attended Apple’s media preview of the new Wangfujung store in co-operation with the Beijinger. Apple’s new retail boss apparently opined that, in his view, the Wangfujung store is the best store Apple has built in Asia so far.

Here, check out the triple-height glass staircases, the first in Asia.

Pretty nice, no?

And here is one of the two 360-degree Genius Bars, Also a first in Asia.

It’s beautiful.

Apple says it is staffing the Wangufjing location with 300 retail employees, bringing the total number in Beijing to more than 800. The company opened up a store in the Sanlitun area as its first in China back in 2008 and it opened a second Beijing location in Xidan in 2010.

The basement and the second floor house customer training facilities. According to Browett, “training in China is very, very popular because this is the first time that people are using these devices”.

Apple is also working to open a new store in Shenzen, China and is already installing tables.

These new mega stores in addition to a bunch of smaller retail outlets Apple pledged to build in China will help alleviate Apple’s retail woes in China, home to population of 1.33 billion.

You’ll recall that Apple last month opened a second retail store in Hong Kong, which is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. It has also been reported that Apple is building an enormous super data center in Hong Kong, where Google also operates a similar facility.

By the way, don’t miss out on Wired’s one-of-a-kind tour of Google’s top-secret data centers that make the Interwebs tick.

As for retail, Apple is said to be updating its own iPod touch-based Easy Pay point-of-sale system to incorporate new iOS 6 Passbook features into the existing mix of payment options to let retail staff accept Apple Store gift cards via the Passbook app.

How do you like the new Wangufjing store, Asia’s largest