The US-based Apple launched a campaign in China this week to promote its mobile payment platform and break the current duopoly of tech giants Tencent and Alibaba. Apple is set to offer a series of discounts of up to 50 per cent to clients who opt to pay using Apple Pay in stores, with whom it has an agreement, to increase its share in the world’s largest mobile payment market, Efe news cited Chinese financial news website Caixin as saying on Wednesday. “Our goal is for all Apple users to use Apple Pay,” Jennifer Baily, vice president of Apple Pay, told Caixin.
The digital payments market in China — dominated by tech giants Tencent with Wechat Payments and Alibaba with Alipay, with a combined market share of 92 per cent — is valued at 35 trillion yuan (nearly $5.2 trillion), according to Caixin. After the US, China is Apple’s second largest market. However, currently, Apple Pay does not figure among the top eight of China’s online payment companies in terms of transaction volume, according to consulting firm Analysys. Apple entered the Chinese mobile payments sector late, launching its services only in February 2016, which might explain the low volume of its business.
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Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Apple appointed Isabel Ge Mahe as its Vice-President and Managing Director for China, a new post created to head and coordinate Apple’s team based in China and oversee compliance with the new cyber security regulations for foreign companies in the country. Last week, Apple had announced a $1 billion investment project in Guizhou province with a data storage facility, as part of the Chinese government’s new requirements where foreign firms are required to store data collected in the country on servers within China.