Apple to take on Alibaba with ApplePay in China

Apps Charlotte Henry

09:40, December 18 2015

News: Apple strikes deal with China UnionPay.

Apple Pay is coming to China and its one billion potential customers, after the tech giant struck a deal with the country's only bank card issuer, China UnionPay.

The deal between the two firms had previously been speculated upon. However, there were concerns about the fees that Apple would be charging, which are higher than those paid by Chinese retailers.

Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet software and services, said: "Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad. China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China's leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience."

The move will also receive support from 15 of China's leading banks.

UnionPay has 5m NFC enabled POS systems, but Apple will be taking on already successful mobile payment apps there such as Alipay from Alibaba, and WePay from Tencent, which is available through the popular messaging app WeChat.

Alipay already has around 350m users, and took 83% of third party mobile payments in China last year, when mobile-payment transactions in China soared 134%, totalling 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion).

Alibaba boss Jack Ma has reportedly with his Apple counterpart Tim Cook to discuss working together on mobile payments, but nothing further has been announced publicly.

China UnionPay combined with 20 commercial banks just a few days ago to launch Quickpass, a mobile phone solution for contactless payments, and ApplePay will work with the product.


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