Apple is hoping to bring its mPayment service to China by February, according to new reports.
It’s an ambitious aim, given that China’s is a closed market governed by strict state regulation. But anonymous sources are reporting that Apple has been successful in negotiations with China’s four major banks, and a Chinese developer has attested to seeing the logo of UnionPay – perhaps China’s biggest bank – among materials included in an iOS beta kit. Another hint can also be seen in Apple’s establishment of a Chinese subsidiary that seems to be related to Apple Pay, back in September of this year.
Apple’s difficulties in bringing Apple Pay to China mirror those it has encountered in other countries in that much of the negotiations hinge on transaction fees owed to banks; this has been a sticking point in Apple’s negotiations with Australia’s main banks. But China also presents its own unique regulatory matrix that will be its own obstacle course – not just for Apple, but for its competitors too.
And there is competition, even in the Chinese market. Rumors have recently been swirling that Samsung is also aiming to launch Samsung Pay in China in Q1 of 2016; meanwhile, MasterCard’s Asia Pacific co-president has also been speaking about that company’s optimism about taking a slice of the Chinese credit card transaction market as it opens up in the future, which MasterCard seems to expect as an inevitability.
Source: The Wall Street Journal