Alipay, a major online payment platform, introduces its latest mobile phone interface to welcome the Chinese New Year.
Apple has accepted payments using Alipay at its 41 stores in the Chinese mainland, announced Alipay on its official social media account on Wednesday.
It is the first time that Apple's offline outlets have accepted third-party mobile payments at any of its 500 global stores apart from its own Apple Pay.
Moreover, Alipay users will enjoy some preferential services in the Apple Store. For example, they will have a chance to receive a 50-yuan voucher with their latest purchase in an Apple Store.
Alipay is run by Ant Financial, an affiliate of China's largest online retailer Alibaba. To attract more Chinese consumers, Apple has launched a series of products and services in recent years. For the Chinese market, Apple's official website in China and its Apple Store have already accepted local mainstream mobile payments. Below is a timetable:
In September 2015, Apple's Tmall official flagship shop began to accept Ant Check Later, another e-commerce consumer credit service provided by Ant Financial. In March 2016, Apple's official website in China accepted Tencent's WeChat Pay. In November 2016, Apple Store accepted Alipay. In August 2017, Apple Store accepted WeChat Pay, with which users can purchase or subscribe to Apple Music.
So far, China is Apple's second largest market in the world. According to Apple's financial report in 2017, with the contribution from the Chinese market accounted for 20 percent of Apple's total sales (US.8 billion). Among Apple's 500 global retails stores, 49 are based in China including 41 in the mainland. Following the United States, China has the largest number of Apple outlets in the world.