41 of Apple’s stores in China are now accepting payments through the popular Chinese service Alipay. Alipay is the first third-party system in the world to be supported by any of Apple’s 500 retail stores!
The growth of Alipay
China is the world’s leading supporter of third-party mobile payments and Alipay dominates the market here. Alipay is only rivaled by Tencent’s Weixin Pay and together these two services accounted for $11.4tn payments in 2016. It is, therefore, no surprise that China has chosen China as the first country it will accept other third-party payments from in their retail stores.
Apple’s history with Alipay
Currently, Apple stores across the world, including those in China, accept payment from their own mobile payment app, Apple Pay. Apple Pay has been a big hit in America, but less so in Europe and Asia and, in particular, it is not widely used in China. However, Apple did sell 41.1 million smartphones in China in last year. By teaming up with Ant Financial, Apple perhaps hopes to continue to conquer the market in China.
While Apple has only just accepted payments via Alipay in its China stores, it has been accepting payment from the platform in its digital stores for over a year. These include payments made in iTunes and in Apple’s App Store.