Apple Hearts China — Overheard

29 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alibaba’s market cap passes Wal-Mart as shares hit new high.

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — Apple’s Tim Cook and Alibaba’s Jack Ma speaking separately at a technology conference yesterday, said they’re open to working together on projects that would turn phones into tools for buying and selling stuff. LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available, and is now more widely used than any competing payment system. “We’re already No. 1.Apple may or may not strike a partnership with Alibaba, but the iPhone maker has strong reasons for wanting to find new ways to grow its business in China.Wal-Mart’s status as the world’s largest retailer is on shaky ground today after a bump in Alibaba’s share price drove the Chinese e-commerce giant’s market capitalization to $251 billion, compared with roughly $246 billion for Wal-Mart.

Bloomberg Intelligence’s Paul Sweeney and Bloomberg’s Leslie Picker have more on “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg) One of the ways you do that is to hook up alibaba which is the largest ecommerce site in china from that per spectacular tve seems like a — perspective, it seems like a great match. I respect Apple and respect Tim very, very much.” The Apple chief executive officer, who was sitting in the audience, took to the stage afterwards and was asked about the possibility of a partnership. “We’re going to talk about getting married later this week,” Mr Cook said. “I love what he’s done, I think he’s a brilliant guy. We’re more than the total of the other guys,” Cook boasted Monday during a tech industry conference, “and we’ve only been at it a week.” He said Visa and MasterCard officials have told Apple that the Apple Pay system is already seeing more use than similar “contactless” methods of paying for purchases. However, what’s interesting about this is that not only does it expand geographies, i think the chinese government situation’s going to be a little more complicated because they are very protective over their financial services industry.

While Apple has partnered with major banks and large retail chains including Macy’s Inc., Walgreen Co. and McDonald’s Corp., critics have noted that it’s not accepted by a number of other large chains. I love partnering with people like that.” The talk of partnership follows Mr Cook’s visit to China last week, in which he discussed plans to more than double the number of stores Apple operates in the Greater China region in the next two years to 40 as the company expands its business. Cook also said he plans to talk with the head of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba later this week about a possible partnership, although he offered no details. The company’s shares have gained in value since that point, reaching as high as $100.50 apiece on Tuesday, and its market cap has gained more than $80 billion since the pre-IPO pricing of Alibaba shares valued them at $68. Its annual securities filing, also out Monday, showed Greater China to be the fastest-growing of the company’s geographic segments—and the only one that grew its share of Apple’s overall revenue in the 2014 fiscal year.

The mobile version of Alibaba’s payment system Alipay Wallet handles 45 million transactions a day and has 190 million active users, Mr Liu Lejun, general manager of the mobile business unit, said this month. Ma and Cook spoke during separate appearances on an outdoor stage on the opening night of a three-day tech conference organized by The Wall Street Journal. But he boasted that sales of Apple’s Mac computers are growing faster than the overall personal computer industry, which has struggled in recent years. He also touted the upcoming release of an Apple smartwatch and dropped broad hints about Apple’s work on a new television product, which has been rumored for years. Apple started operating its new digital payments service last week, offering it only in the United States to start, and only for users of its newest models of iPhones and iPads.

The company has touted the privacy and security features of its service, which uses a sophisticated encryption system to let users charge purchases on credit card accounts without having to show their card or account number. Repeating a favorite dig at competitors such as Google and Facebook, Cook said Apple doesn’t collect user data or purchase information. “We don’t want to know what you buy.

We’re not Big Brother; we’ll leave that to other people.” Speaking earlier, Ma said he is looking for a variety of U.S. partners for Alibaba Group, the Chinese firm that held a record stock market debut on Wall Street earlier this year. Ma said Alibaba is also helping U.S. food producers, including cherry farmers from Washington state and fishermen from Alaska, sell their harvests in China.

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