Apple to launch Apple Pay in China, take on Alibaba, Tencent

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Inc partners with UnionPay to launch payment service in China.

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple announced a major partnership with China UnionPay on Thursday to put is digital wallet to work in the world’s most populous country.Apple announced today (Dec. 18) that its Apple Pay service will launch in China in partnership with UnionPay “as soon as early 2016.” UnionPay is a state-affiliated network that issues payment cards for the country’s domestic banks. US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley will face off in a third debate in New Hampshire on YouTube this Saturday.

Consumers in China are set to spend 9 trillion yuan (about $1.4 trillion) using mobile payment apps this year, according to iResearch, a research firm that tracks the country’s internet industry. Customers of UnionPay, China’s largest payment and clearing network, will be able to add their bank cards to iPhones, iPads and the Apple Watch for purchases through Apple Pay, the companies said in a statement.

Apple launched its digital wallet last year in a move capitalising on the popularity of its mobile devices and taking on rivals such as Google and PayPal, which are also competing in the market. The twin deals allow the two biggest smartphone makers to take their competition in the nascent payments area to the world’s largest market, where they will compete with third-party service providers including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

For foreign companies such as Apple and Samsung, China offers an opportunity to profit from a market where mobile-payment transactions jumped 134 percent to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion) last year, central bank data show. Apple Pay utilizes near-field communication, which enables users to pay for purchases by tapping their phone or watch with stored bank-card information on a device at cash registers.

Malcolm Turnbull meets with the Japanese government for diplomatic and trade talks, as well as to raise Australia’s concerns about Japanese whaling. Both Alipay and WeChat Payments benefit from social features and other perks that come from being tied into their already popular shopping and chat apps. Apple Pay charges 0.15 percent of the value of each purchase made through its system, out of the 2 percent fee paid by merchants in U.S., Caixin magazine reported in February. US secretary of state John Kerry chairs a UN Security Council meeting, arranged during Kerry’s visit to Moscow this week, in an effort to broker an end to Syria’s bloody civil war.

Alibaba’s Alipay affiliate controlled 83 percent of China’s third-party mobile payment market in 2014, while Tencent’s Tenpay service held 10 percent, according to market-research firm iResearch. Alipay allows its more than 400 million real-name registered users to make purchases from desktop computers, tablets and smartphones at more than 130,000 bricks-and-mortar merchants, according to its website. The company’s revenue from “greater China” (which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan) has nearly doubled in one year, thanks to the iPhone 6’s popularity That’s because Apple is popular among the right group of consumers—rich people who spend a lot.

While Apple Pay might never steal away Alipay users en masse, it’s the perfect tool for a day of luxury binge-shopping for China’s more status-conscious consumers. The British prime minister presented four demands aimed at renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the European Union, and said he was confident that solutions would be found. Corinne Purtill on how a butter coffee maker sells an entire lifestyle: “In company lingo, “being Bulletproof” means hacking your diet, your sleep, your workout routines and virtually every other interaction with your environment to become a smarter, sharper, better performing you… What Bulletproof is really selling isn’t high-fat coffee but a new take on a perennially popular product: the promise of a better life, and a faster, easier way to get there.” Read more here.

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