Apple Pay is making its way into the Chinese market. With Apple’s executives having long expressed interest in launching the mPayment service in the country, a new business entity that appears to be connected to Apple Pay has been registered in the country’s free-trade zone.
The business entity in question is called Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd., and it has Apple VP and treasurer Gary Joseph Wipfler listed as its chairman. While neither Apple nor the Chinese government is willing to comment on the development, according to The Wall Street Journal, documents associated with the registration indicate that the new entity’s business operations involve technological systems associated with payments.
It would thus appear to be a major step forward for the company in the Chinese market, but there’s a long road ahead of it. China already has a major mPayment platform in place in the form of Alipay, an mPayment service owned by eCommerce giant Alibaba, and which has hundreds of millions of users. At the end of last year, there had been some speculation of a potential partnership between Apple and Alipay, but with the latter now so firmly entrenched in the country, such a development seems unlikely.
Still, it’s in Apple’s interest to get whatever foothold it can in China early, as other mPayment platforms start to hit the market. Samsung Pay, which is enjoying considerable success in South Korea, is already angling for China; and it seems likely that Google’s Android Pay will get there sooner or later too. For an ostensibly communist country, there’s some fierce market competition in the pipeline.
Source: The Wall Street Journal