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Apple’s App Store Signs Up Chinese Expansion Deal

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Apple confirms deal with UnionPay, China’s only domestic banking card provider, to let customers pay for apps

Apple could be set for a major windfall from China following the completion of a partnership with the country’s sole banking card provider.

The company has announced it has signed up UnionPay as a recognised payments provider for its App Store, meaning Chinese customers can now purchase apps using their own accounts for the first time. Customers can also easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.

Previously, anyone in the country looking to pay for an app had to use an international credit card service such as Visa, or go through several steps to transfer funds from a local bank account.

UnionPay_logoInternational

The deal is set to majorly boost Apple’s reach in China, leading to a huge rise in revenues as it looks to tap the lucrative Chinese market. The country was already Apple’s second biggest app market prior to today’s deal, behind Japan, and the company will be hoping this growth is set to continue.

According to Apple, UnionPay has issued over 4.5 billion payment cards both in China and abroad, where it is accepted in over 140 countries, marking a huge potential market for the company to sell its apps and content to.

“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favourite apps with just one-tap.”

After months of wrangling, Apple finally signed a deal to sell its products in China last December, agreeing terms with the country’s largest carrier, China Mobile. The country has already proved to be a key part of Apple’s financial well-being, representing 16 percent of the company’s total revenue during its last quarter.

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