Apple Pay Registers for Business in China (Sept. 21, 2015)
Apple Inc. is making good on its plan to bring Apple Pay to China, with news that it’s registered a subsidiary, Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd. in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, with permission to operate Apple Pay, but it’s already late to the m-payments party in China, say observers.
Apple reportedly registered its mobile payments service in the region in June, listing its service as technical consulting, services and system integration in the payments field. The registration indicates Apple has invested $13.4 million in the project so far, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move supports several statements in the past year from Apple CEO Tim Cook indicating China is high on the list of regions where he hopes to extend the company’s proprietary m-payments service. Apple Pay launched nearly a year ago in the U.S. and became available in the U.K. in July, but efforts to launch the service in Australia apparently are stalled.
Apple has much development work ahead and a lot of catching up to do in China, where two QR code-based m-payments services from Alibaba and Tencent already are well-entrenched, according to observers. Chinese consumers also can access existing domestic m-payment services with any type of smartphone via the Alipay or WeChat apps, according to reports. Apple Pay is available only to Apple device owners, but the company’s products are popular in China. Apple originally hoped to penetrate China’s m-payments scene sooner via a partnership with China UnionPay, but negotiations did not produce a deal. Apple has not provided further details about its m-payments strategy in China and no time frame for Apple Pay’s rollout has been suggested.