Apple will accept Chinese mobile payment app Alipay in its local stores, boosting its ties with giant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group amid a push by the iPhone maker to revive growth in the world’s No. 2 economy, reads a new report from CNET.
Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform, today announced an agreement to make Alipay available in Apple retail stores across mainland China, making it the first third-party mobile payment method to be accepted at the U.S. company’s brick-and-mortar stores anywhere in the world.
While Apple’s regional China website, iTunes Store, and App Store have accepted Alipay for over a year, now the Cupertino firm will accept Alipay payment at all 41 of its physical stores in mainland China, the company’s largest retail market outside the United States.
Apple users will also have access to a dedicated Apple section within the Alipay app, where they can find offers for online App Store purchases, bind their Apple account with their Alipay account, and access billing information for the App Store and Apple stores.
This move come in light of Apple seeing mixed success in China. Its products are doing well, its mobile payment system Apple Pay less so. The country is Apple’s second largest retail market after the US and sales have grown for the last two quarters, an increase of 11% in its combined fiscal first-quarter revenue (which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong) to a record $17.9 billion – the large majority of which is from the iPhone.
Apple has recently made many moves to woo the Chinese government, including two data centres in the country, as well as local companies, in ride hailer Didi Chuxing.