Apple Pay Will Launch In China In Early 2016
Chinese consumers will have access to Apple Pay soon, after Apple struck a partnership with China UnionPay, the government-approved organization that is the only bank card issuer in the country. Apple Pay will be available early next year after it passes regulatory tests.
Apple did not reveal exactly when Apple Pay will be launched in China, but an earlier report by Dow Jones says February.
China is already Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. (its revenue there jumped an impressive 99 percent to $12.51 billion in last reported quarter). Combined with China UnionPay’s 260 million customers, Apple Pay will launch with an impressively large network of potential users.
The success of the mobile payments service, however, is still far from guaranteed. Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WePay, which is available through WeChat (China’s most popular messaging app) are already widely used for both online and offline purchases. In fact, Tim Cook reportedly met with Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma last year to discuss integrating Apple Pay with Alipay.
If a partnership does happen, it would give Apple Pay a significant boost in China because Alipay has about 350 million users, but there have been no announcements since Cook and Ma supposedly met last year.
A statement released by Apple says that China UnionPay cardholders who own an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch will be able to connect their devices to Apple Pay through China UnionPay QuickPass, which already enable contactless payments with credit cards.
In a media statement, 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.”
Apple Pay is currently available in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. In addition to China, it will also roll out next year to users in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
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