Sina
Edition: CHINA ASIA USA EUROPE AFRICA
Home > Business
Thursday, February 18, 2016, 13:00

Apple Pay launched in China

By Agencies
Apple Pay launched in China
The Apple Pay logo is displayed in a mobile kiosk sponsored by Visa and Wells Fargo to demonstrate the new Apple Pay mobile payment system on October 20, 2014 in San Francisco City. (Photo / AFP)

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

Users of the iPhone 6 or more advanced versions, certain iPads and Apple Watches will be able to use these devices, equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology, to buy items in stores in China, Apple's second-largest market.

Apple said Apple Pay was available in China from Thursday and 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.

Nearly 20 Chinese banks have let their customers tie their bank accounts to Apple Pay, and UnionPay has provided compatible point-of-sale (POS) terminals for users to complete the transactions.

McDonald's said on Thursday that it will accept the contactless payment in 1,700 restaurants in China. Apple also lists Lane Crawford, 7-Eleven, Burger King, KFC among merchants already accepting Apple Pay in China.

Chinese restaurant review and group buying services Meituan and Dazhongdianping and online retailer Dangdang.com have also made Apple Pay-compatible versions of their apps available to iPhone users.

In China, Apple is working with the country's state-owned credit card processor, China UnionPay.

China UnionPay has previously worked with the country's three telecom operators to promote NFC-based mobile payment services in competition with the payment solutions offered by Alibaba and Tencent.

Yet the project failed to gain a sizable share of the mobile payment market, in part because of different technical standards employed by telecom operators and lack of adoption by merchants.

Apple Pay is a late arrival in a Chinese electronic payments market dominated by Alipay, which is a part of Alibaba Group.

The 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.

Latest News