Apple Pay launches in China where e-payments widely used

World Today

Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its smartphone-based payment system in China where the electronic payments market is already dominated by an arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Apple said “Apple Pay” could be used by 19 banks, “numerous merchants” and app developers. Apple’s electronic payment system started in the United States in October 2014 and has since spread to Britain, Canada and Australia.



The merchants include supermarket Carrefour, fast food outlets McDonald’s and KFC, and convenience store 7-Eleven, according to a news release Wednesday from China UnionPay, the country’s state-owned credit card processor with which Apple is working.

Apple Pay is a late arrival in a Chinese electronic payments market that offers smartphone users not just online shopping but also the option to order taxis, send money to friends, pay bills and invest in wealth management funds.

The market is dominated by Alipay, an arm of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. WeChat Payment, operated by social networking and gaming company Tencent Holdings Ltd, is also popular.

Apple’s system will allow UnionPay cardholders to make payments via Apple iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads.

Apple has declined to say how the company and UnionPay would divide the costs and revenues of their venture.

Story by the Associated Press