Apple has finally launched its mobile payment system in China just as planned for an early 2016 launch as we reported back in December. China is the fifth country to get the service and the Cupertino Company should bid hard to make the hundreds of millions of Chinese people switch to Apple Pay. The company is expanding its payment system since October 2014, though; Apple has faced sceptical retailers in its effort to develop a new revenue stream in its homeland.
“People switch applications for significantly better experiences, it (Apple) has to deliver not just a little bit more secure, or a little bit easier to use,” said Mark Natkin, founder of Marbridge Consulting.
Greater China is Apple’s second-largest market by revenue, and the world’s biggest smartphone market. By the end of 2015, 358 million people, more than the US population, had already taken to buying goods and services by mobile phone, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.
The vast majority are using payment services from China’s two biggest Internet companies that have existed for years. Social networking and gaming firm Tencent Holdings Ltd operates WeChat Payment, and e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, through its Internet finance affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, runs Alipay.
“With 100 percent saturation of local payment systems, no one in China is clamouring for Apple Pay,” said one retailer who declined to be named for fear of harming business prospects. “Today, everyone has a local payment option on their phone, so Apple Pay is a solution in need of a problem.”