Apple's Cook 'very bullish' on Chinese Apple Pay rollout, in talks with banks and Alibaba

in iPhone edited May 2015
During a recent visit to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is moving forward with talks to roll out Apple Pay in partnership with regional banks and perhaps e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Cook told China's Xinhua news agency that Apple is actively negotiating with financial institutions to bring Apple Pay to Chinese consumers, reports Reuters.

"We very much want to get Apple Pay in China," Cook said. "I'm very bullish on Apple Pay in China."

As can be expected from China's booming economy, growing middle class and high saturation of smartphone owners, Cook believes an Apple-branded contactless payment solution is ripe for mass adoption. Currently, Apple Pay is limited to the U.S., though the company has plans to expand functionality beyond domestic borders as soon as possible.

While China holds the promise of great rewards, Apple faces a number of unique challenges that have so far stymied an official Apple Pay debut. Perhaps most troublesome is UnionPay, China's state-owned credit and debit card operator. Reports earlier this year claimed Apple was nearing an agreement with UnionPay over fees and restrictions, but forward progress stalled after talks supposedly broke down in February.

Another route is Alibaba's Alipay service, which could help Apple get a foot in the door with Chinese regulatory agencies. Last year, Alibaba confirmed it was negotiating a potential deal between Apple Pay and Ant Financial, the Alibaba subsidiary in charge of Alipay services.

While a dominant player in online payments, Alipay has yet to see success with its QR code-based point-of-sale transaction solution. Infusing Apple Pay's NFC and Touch ID technology into Alipay as a cobranded product could be a win for both companies, but major issues need to be settled before an agreement is ratified. For example, Apple's fees could prove too onerous for the Chinese market. In the U.S., Apple retains 0.15 percent of a 2 percent per payment fee charged to merchants, plus a half-cent per-transaction charge for debit cards.

Cook also took time to discuss Apple's environmental initiatives in China and voiced approval of recent news that iPhone sales surpassed that of local manufacturer Xiaomi.

On Monday, Cook activated an account with Chinese microblogging service Weibo, suggesting the Apple chief is looking to get a presence in the country.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Is there anything that Tim Cook isn't bullish on?
  • Reply 2 of 7
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    "In the U.S., Apple charges merchants 0.15 percent of a 2 percent fee per payment, plus a half-cent per-transaction charge, much higher than Alipay's approximately 0.7 percent to 1.2 percent per transaction."

    You do realize what you said here makes no sense.. Alipay is getting much MORE than what Apple Pay gets based on what you posted. In-fact.. I think you meant to say "Alipay gets much less than the 2 percent fee per payment most BANKS / CC Processor gets (.7 - 1.2 percent) ...."

    But if Apple gets .15 percent of Alipay's .7 - 1.2 percent .. umm.. it's s moving scale... so, Apple would get less per transaction, but many more transactions in theory based on possible users.

    I suspect the holdup is less the fee and more the China wanting more control than Apple is used to giving up honestly.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,665member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Is there anything that Tim Cook isn't bullish on?

    Pretty much all the things I'm not. What's your point?
  • Reply 4 of 7
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,692member
    Wow, this article appears to be full of errors, it should be retracted.

    Apple does not charge the merchants. The interchange (visa, master card, AMEX) pay Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    rogifan wrote: »
    Is there anything that Tim Cook isn't bullish on?

    iPods, and Google's long-term viability.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    I would be motivated as well. The amount of transactions per day must be mind boggling. :P
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    Is there anything that Tim Cook isn't bullish on?

    He's Apple's CEO so why wouldn't he be bullish on practically all things Apple.  In most cases, I think he has a right to have confidence in Apple's plans and most of the things he's said have turned out fairly well.  Apart of from Apple's share price which he's never said anything positive about.

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