Daily Management Review

Apple to Tie up with UnionPay to Offer ApplePay in China, to take on Alibaba, Tencent head on


Apple to Tie up with UnionPay to Offer ApplePay in China, to take on  Alibaba, Tencent head on
Taking its Chinese rivals Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings head one, Apple Inc said it will launch its payment service in China as soon as 2016.
China's main bank card and payment firm, UnionPay, a state-controlled consortium that has a monopoly on all yuan payment cards issued and used in the country, would team up with Apple. 
The Chinese online payments market is fast growing and the primary competitors for Apple in this segment would be Tencent's WeChat Payment and Alipay, the crown jewel of ecommerce king Alibaba's affiliate Ant Financial. These two are the top two players in Chinese online payments market.
The tie-up with UnionPay and leading local banks would help Apple Pay give Chinese shoppers a "convenient, private and secure payment" option, said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services.
"China is an extremely important market for Apple," he said.
Despite being the most important markets for its iPhone and tablet sales, China, the world's second-largest economy, has been out of bounds for the Apple Inc. as far as the its online payments market is concerned. 
Driven by the proliferation of hundreds of millions of smartphones that are being used for everything from paying for taxis and meals to buying goods at High Street stores, the Chinese online payment and transaction market is booming.
The Chinese government, in proposed regulations to shake up the online payment services sector in July, allowed companies which own payment systems can reap huge profits by charging transaction fees.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's payment system, Samsung Pay, which was launched earlier this year is most likely to get a new partner in the form of UnionPay which announced its intention in a statement on Friday.
It is estimated that the global mobile payments market by 2017 would be worth some $1tn. The aim of UnionPay's tying up with Apple is to make the most of that growing market.
The firm would provide "secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry," said v, the Executive vice president of the company.
"We're very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass," Mr Chai said. 
Digital wallets are becoming a more popular way to pay for goods and services as the growth of smartphone in China accelerates and an estimated 68% of the population now owning one.
A joint venture with UnionPay Network Payments was announced by British e-commerce tech firm Powa Technologies on Thursday saying that the tie up could generate $5bn (£3.3bn) in revenues over three years.
Powa's technology enables shoppers to pay for goods quickly in-store as well as online using their smartphones. UnionPay Network Payments is owned by China UnionPay.
The companies said that once the requisite approvals is obtained, the card holders of China UnionPay should be able to add their bankcards to Apple Pay on iPhones, iPads and Apple watches.
UnionPay cards have been accepted in 150 countries and regions outside of China.
(Sources:www.bbc.com & www.reuters.com)